Occupational Health and Safety
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The field of Occupational Health and Safety’s goal is to protect people in work environments. Occupational Health and Safety or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seeks to keep employees safe while one the job. OSHA protection can extend to coworkers, family members, customers, and others who are present in a workplace environment. It is the responsibility of employers to maintain a safe working environment at all times. Companies do this by conducting hazard and risk assessments. Hazard assessments identify the hazard and take action to get rid of the hazard. Risk assessments identify the hazard, and evaluate the level of risk, and control measures that are identified.
Occupational Health and Safety Legalities
Companies are legally required to provide the protection for their employees. Legally companies must take the necessary steps to prevent any health or safety issues. Legally companies might have to compensate employees or others if safety procedures are not followed and injury occurs.
Occupational Health and Safety regulations are rooted in changes that were brought about by labor movements during the industrial revolution. Concerns arose over the well-being of workers, especially children working in factories and miners who were working under dangerous conditions.
Some occupations lend themselves more toward hazardous working environments. Jobs that require employees to work with heavy machinery have a higher likelihood of injury. Other jobs that have higher rates of injury include mining, construction, transportation, and agriculture. Other common workplace hazard categories are:
- Biological hazards
- Blood born pathogens
- Chemical hazards
- Psychosocial hazards
Occupational Health and Safety and Health Costs
Occupational Health and Safety is beneficial to companies because it can decrease employ related health costs. When employees are healthy and safe it keeps people at work. This reduces the amount of money organizations must pay in sick leave, insurance, and disability benefits.