Health prevention in the environment and workplace is increasingly integrating and partially substituting its traditional inspective and surveillance approach with a promotional and proactive one. Environment and workplace health prevention technicians could play a very important role in this trend, thanks to their legally protected high level inter-disciplinary skills and responsibilities, acquired in a longstanding professionalization process. Using the theoretical tools of the sociology of professions, the author analyses the process of professionalization of environmental and occupational technicians, through an analysis of available documents and literature, integrated by interviews with representatives of professional associations. The conclusions highlight that, although regulation supports a complete shift from occupation to profession, the real forms of professionalization of this group might not be enough to enable them to play a prominent role in the new world of prevention.
Keywords: Professions, prevention, health, health and safety at work