What is Occupational Safety and Health?
• Health and Safety refers to a cross-disciplinary area concerned with protecting the health, safety, and welfare off all individuals engaged in employment in the United States of America. The goal of these programs is to ensure safe work environments for American employees, to secure the delivery of suitable equipment and safety protocol. Such actions aim to prevent injuries or accidental deaths in the workplace.
• As a secondary effect, occupational safe and health programs also protect co-workers, family members, customers, employers, suppliers, nearby communities, and other individuals of the public who are impacted (directly or indirectly) by a particular workplace environment. These programs may involve interactions among a plethora of subjects including: occupation hygiene, occupational medicine, public health, chemistry, safety engineering, or health physics.
• Since the early 1950s, the International Labor Organization and the World Health Organization have shared a common interpretation of occupational health and safety. The mutual definition of these governmental programs define occupational health and safety as: “Occupational health should aim at the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations; the prevention amongst workers of departures from health caused by their working conditions; the protection of workers in their employment from risks resulting from factors adverse to health; the placing and maintenance of the worker in an occupational environment adapted to his physiological and psychological capabilities; and, to summarize, the adaptation of work to man and of each man to his job.”
Reasons for Occupational Health and Safety Programs
• In the event of an incident or accident at work, the employer would be susceptible to facing a number of adverse actions, such as legal fees, compensatory damages, fines, lost production, numerous opportunity costs, investigation time, lost goodwill from the workforce or employee-base, and loss in trust from customers and the general community.
• As a result of these great risks, occupational requirements are reinforced by the United States’ criminal and civil legal platform. The legal implications simply enforce these requirements; employers who are unwilling or simply negligent in caring for their employees must respect the law or face aggressive penalties for failing to adhere to such a code.
• Occupational health and safety programs promote health and safety procedures in the work place. The programs evaluate and recognize potential hazards and measure these risks through the implementation of various procedures and safety measures. The programs set suitable safety control in the workplace, and give recommendations to employers on how to avoid accidents.
• Occupational health and safety programs can reduce the numbers of injuries and deaths, legal liabilities, property damages, illnesses, worker compensation claims, and missed time from work. In summation, these programs not only bolster employee safety, but proportionally increase production as well. If an employer is sick or injured the companies production invariably goes down, as a result, these programs provide benefits to both the employee, and in turn, the employer.