Occupational Health and Safety

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Definition - What does Occupational Health and Safety mean?

Occupational health and safety refers to safety and health as it relates specifically to employment and the workplace environment. The monitoring, studying and setting of standards for workplace conditions all fall within the scope of occupational health and safety. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), along with federal and state agencies, set forth specific rules and guidelines for workplace safety. Additional standards may be created by individual employers or industry groups. The goal of occupational health and safety standards is to ensure a safe working environment.

Occupational health and safety is sometimes referred to as workplace safety, safety standards, or employee health and safety.

SureHire explains Occupational Health and Safety

A key factor in assuring worker safety is the setting of specific policies, standards, and protocols designed to prevent harm and improve working conditions. Because of the variety and scope of job types, creating these standards and protocols requires ongoing effort. Special training or education is required to work in the occupational health and safety industry. Researchers, inspectors, trainers, and compliance agents all contribute to the creation and maintenance of a safe work environment.

Individuals in the occupational health and safety field study on-the-job performance, evaluate risk factors, and design methods to prevent injury or harm. They also investigate injuries and unsafe conditions. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration, state affiliated agencies, national agencies, and international agencies may all impose health and safety regulations. Private industry and trade groups may also set voluntary requirements and monitor compliance by their employer members. Finally, if an employer violates required standards a penalty or order to stop work may be imposed. The employer may also face discipline from its industry or trade group.

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