Occupational health or occupational safety and health (OSH) is a cross-disciplinary area concerned with the protection, health, and welfare of people in the working industry. The goal of occupational health and safety is to provide programs that will avoid or lessen health risks in the workplace.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have used the same definition of occupational health since 1950. The definition states that occupational health should aim to:
- Promote and maintain the highest degree of mental, physical, and social well-being of all workers in all industries
- Prevent workers from having to forfeit their duty due to their health concerns caused by their work environment
- Protect workers, during their employment, from risks resulting from factors adverse to their health
- Place and maintain a worker in an occupational environment based on their physiological and psychological capabilities
- Adapt the saying; ‘To man and each man to his job’
Occupational health has three objectives and they are:
- To promote and maintain a worker’s health and working capacity
- To improve the working environment and strive to become conducive to health and safety
- To develop work organizations and cultures that work toward promoting a healthy, safe, and a positive social climate for smooth operation and increased productivity.
Industries should always follow occupational safety and health advice or programs to ensure that all workers are given a safe and healthy working environment. Industries have different levels of health and safety risks like workers in chemical industries having a high risk of developing diseases due to chemical exposure, and workers in construction industries having a high risk of accidents due to the physically challenging work. Any business should invest in the safety of their employees because it increases productivity and decreases cost on work-related illnesses and accidents.