Occupational Health – Concept, objectives, functions and causes

We explain what occupational health is and what its objectives are. What specific functions does it have and what are its causes.

Occupational health
The OS generates and promotes that work is healthy and safe.

What is occupational health?

Occupational health, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is defined as a multidisciplinary activity that controls and carries out prevention measures to take care of the health of all workers. This includes illnesses, any type of accident and all factors that could endanger the life, health or safety of people in their respective jobs.

Decades ago, discussions began on the importance of the health of workers who expose their bodies in a risky way when doing their jobs. It is for this reason that occupational health was created in order to promote and maintain physical and mental well-being as much as possible of people who own a job.

Occupational health, in its origins, was invented in order to help and protect those who posed more physical risks when they worked, but today, includes workers of any profession or trade so that work adapts to man, and man to work.

Objectives of occupational health

Occupational health
Working conditions must be sufficiently optimal.

As the main objective, occupational health generates and promotes that work is healthy and safe. For this, it protects workers from the possibility that there is a risk in the work environment for their health or well-being.

In turn, it is related to analyze the environment and adapt it to the physical and mental conditions of the workers. It is for this reason that three main objectives of occupational health were established.

In the first place, the health of the employees must be maintained and promoted, as well as the capacity that each one possesses. Working conditions must be optimal enough to promote their health and well-being.

Finally, emphasis will be placed on creating organizational systems to promote health and safety in the workplace. A positive climate should be promoted in the organization, it will seek to achieve greater efficiency and thus be able to optimize the productivity of each company.

Occupational health functions

Although each country will have its own regulations regarding occupational health, there are certain functions that are general and fundamental.

  • You must identify and evaluate any type of risk that could affect the workplace.
  • You must analyze the factors that concern the work environment and analyze whether any practices carried out there may harm the health or well-being of workers.
  • Provide advice on health, safety and hygiene, and ergonomics.
  • It will be responsible for disseminating the necessary information and will educate workers regarding health and hygiene.
  • It will control that the regulations related to the quality and hygiene of the place are guaranteed.

Causes of occupational health

Occupational health
The worker must use the appropriate clothing and equipment.

The problems that occupational health deals with are linked to everything that happens in the workplace or as a consequence of the work they do.

Some examples of these accidents can be: fractures, cuts, amputations, any type of disorders caused by repetitive movement, problems that may arise in the ears due to a particular noise that exists in the workplace, vision problems -even blindness-, any disease caused by difficulty in breathing, caused by exposure to radiation or by exposure to germs found in places where health care should be available.

It is essential that a workplace can be provided with the conditions necessary to provide health and safety to all workers. The prevention of future illnesses or accidents it must be carried out in order to reduce the risks of these problems occurring.

In turn, all workers must take care of their own health and well-being on their own; In other words, if their job requires using the body in a risky way, they must keep themselves in good physical condition and healthy. It is always advised to do everything possible to reduce the level of stress that job obligations can cause.

Finally, each person must verify that their work area maintains adequate working conditions and you should always wear the appropriate clothing and equipment.