BSOH Code of Ethics

The BSOH Code of Ethics prescribes the code of ethics for BSOH Board members and General Principles applied by the Society

The Belgian Society for Occupational Hygiene is dedicated to improve, promote and develop occupational hygiene and to improve and maintain a safe and healthy working environment for all.
BSOH Board members are expected to give priority to health and safety interests related to the protection of people, and act in a manner that promotes sound scientific principles, integrity and reflects positively on the profession, consistent with accepted moral, ethical and legal standards.

Responsibilities to the Professional Organizations, the Profession and the Public.
     In order to satisfy organizational and legal policies and rules, BSOH Board members should:

  1. Comply with laws, regulations, policies, and ethical standards governing professional practice of industrial hygiene and related activities
  2. Cooperate with professional associations and credentialing organizations concerning ethics matters and the collection of information related to an ethics matter.
  3. Report apparent violations of applicable professional organizations’ ethical standards to appropriate organizations and agencies upon a reasonable and clear factual basis.
  4. Refrain from any public behavior that is clearly in violation of accepted professional, ethical or legal standards.
  5. Promote equal opportunity and diversity in professional activities.
  6. Support and disseminate the association’s ethics principles to other professionals.

1. Professional responsibility
Principles of this responsibility
Occupational hygienists are responsible for exercising their profession in an honest and competent manner in accordance with the recognized principles of Occupational Hygiene, which acknowledge that the life, health and well-being of individuals depend on their professional judgement. They avoid circumstances which might compromise their professional judgement or give rise to conflicts of interest, so that they can guarantee the integrity of their profession. They conduct their work in accordance with agreed standards of quality assurance.

2. Responsibility for themselves and others
Object of this responsibility
Occupational hygienists must maintain a high degree of integrity and competence, use appropriate scientific methods and interpret their results with good faith in a neutral manner. They must share scientific knowledge for the well-being of workers, society and the profession, protect confidential information and only deal with subjects within their own sphere of competence. They apply a systematic approach based on a sound analysis of hazard, risk and risk management methods.

3. Responsibility towards employees
Protection of health and well-being of employees
Occupational hygienists must acknowledge that their first duty is to protect the health and well-being of employees. They take an objective approach to the assessment, identification, evaluation and control of risks to health, without subjecting themselves to external influences, in recognizing that the health and well-being of employees and other persons depend on their competence and professional judgement. They aim to provide the same standard of care, in an even-handed manner, to all the employees for whom they are responsible.

4. Responsibility towards employers and clients
The basis of relations with employers and clients
Occupational hygienists must provide advice to employers and clients in an honest, responsible and competent manner. They must respect confidentiality and properly discharge their responsibilities to employers and clients. However, these responsibilities are subordinate to their ultimate responsibility, which is to protect the lives and well-being of employees. They advise employers and clients on current standards, directives and all other legal requirements in the area of occupational hygiene. They report their results and make their recommendations in a true and honest manner and make sure that their professional judgement is applied only within their own sphere of competence and expertise. They manage and administer their professional services to ensure a high standard of sound and reliable reporting, which records and explains the results obtained and the conclusions drawn from them.

5. Responsibilities towards the public and the environment
The impact of decisions on public health and ecology
Occupational hygienists must take into account the eventual impact of the decisions and actions they take on the public and the environment. They give honest, effective and pragmatic advice to all parties concerned with risks to health and the means of protection. They apply the principles of occupational hygiene in a responsible manner to contribute to the creation and maintenance of a good environment for everyone.

6. Responsibilities towards the community
The management of conflicts of interest
Occupational hygienists must operate on the principle that in dealing with risks that impinge on both the working and the wider community, employers, clients, employees and the public will have common interests. However, if conflicts of interest do appear, they must be resolved in a manner which does least damage to workers, the environment and the community.
Mechanism of administering
The Code of Ethics are published on the BSOH website.
During presentations related to the Society reference is made to this document.
If a BSOH member or BSOH Board member identifies a violation against this Code of Ethics, the President or Vice President should be informed. They will establish an Ethics Committee which shall consist of BSOH Board members who can act independently.
Case by case, the Ethics Committee will initiate an investigation and identify appropriate actions.
Feedback will be provided at BOSH Board meetings respecting confidentiality.