Using the past to map out the future of occupational health and safety research: where do we go from here?

Di Fan, Cherrie Jiuhua Zhu, Andrew R. Timming, Yiyi Su, Xingli Huang, Ying Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to take stock of the extant research on occupational health and safety (OHS) with the aim of identifying gaps and mapping out a future research agenda for human resource management (HRM) scholars. A comprehensive review of OHS research from 1956 to 2019 was first conducted. A total of 564 articles from 17 leading journals were then identified and categorized into five distinct, yet inter-related, themes: (1) antecedents and work-related factors influencing OHS; (2) industrial policy and regulations surrounding OHS; (3) OHS management practices; (4) approaches to, and models of, managing OHS and (5) outcomes of OHS management. The review also discusses OHS research methodologies and design foci. Overall, we found that OHS research is poorly integrated into the field of HRM, and we identify a plethora of opportunities for HR researchers to add value to this field of research. A future agenda is formulated, encompassing new OHS theory-building, novel directions for empirical research, and innovations in research design and methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-127
Number of pages38
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • HR practices
  • literature review
  • occupational health and safety
  • workplace safety

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