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What is Occupational Health & What is its Importance?

Health & safety at the workplace is a multi-functional line of work that involves safeguarding workers or employees from any potential hazards, and effectively managing their health and well-being within the organization.

The objective of all work-related safety and health programs is to nurture and promote a working environment that is safe and risk-free. In addition to protecting the workers themselves, keeping in mind all the safety aspects of a job can also help to protect colleagues, loved ones, businesses, clients, vendors, local population, and other general public who are affected by the workplace.
All countries have in place certain laws according to which employers must provide a safe working environment to its workers and employees. Failure to comply to these laws may result in heavy penalties, risk to business  continuity, prosecution in the court of law, harm to the environment and above all loss of life or disability in case of any accident.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have issued several guidelines regarding occupational health and safety.
The issue of occupational health is not specific to or applicable to any one industry. Rather, it is applicable in one way or the other to each and every organization that employs workers for any nature of work, whether it is for operating heavy machinery or just a desk job.
Having a thorough occupational health training program within an organization helps workers to identify any early signs/symptoms of possible work-related health problems before they become permanent conditions. It also helps them to review their work setting, and to demand that supervisors make changes before situations get out of hand.
Giving an appropriate attention to staff health and safety has substantial benefits:
Healthy staff are more productive and have a better work-life balance.
Safe work environments play a role in the country’s sustainable development, which is essential for eliminating poverty.
It can result in pollution control and reduction of exposure to any toxic chemicals.
It can play a role in enhancing the employability of staff, through workplace (re)design, upkeep of a healthy and safe work environment, training and retraining, health screening and evaluation of functional capacities.
No occupational health program can be successful unless there is strong management commitment, and the staff involved realize its importance.

Some benefits to employers are:

  • a well-managed occupational health programme
  • a good and caring image
  • superior worker morale
  • increased staff tenure and loyalty
  • less days off by workers
  • better work efficiency
  • less health care/insurance expenses
  • less risk of fines, penalties and prosecution

Some benefits to the staff are:

  • a secure and wholesome work environment
  • better self-esteem
  • less anxiety
  • better morale
  • enhanced job satisfaction
  • increased skills for health protection
  • better perception of well-being
  • better work-life balance

Want to learn more about Occupational Health?

If you are someone looking for more information about Occupational Health or want to make a career in this exciting field, please check out our online training programs related to Occupational Health.
We offer an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety Management, which is a globally accredited program and will be a valuable addition to your overall profile.
Contact us today to know more.
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