Occupational Health

The joint ILO/WHO (international labor organization and world health organization) on occupational health, gave the definition of occupational health as follows “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 among the workers of departures from health caused by their working conditions; the protection of workers in their employment from the risks resulting from factors adverse to health; the placing and maintenance of the workers in an occupational environment adapted to his physiological and psychological equipment and to summarize the adaptation of work to man and of each man to his job”.

The aim of occupational health is essentially preventive; i.e. the prevention of disease and maintenance of highest degree of health (highest degree of physical, mental and social well being) of workers in all occupations. These are attained by-health promotion, specific protection, early diagnosis and treatment, disability limitation and rehabilitation. Tools used for attaining goals are screening , health education, health statistics and epidemiological approach. Therefore, occupational health is application of preventive medicine in all places of employment.

In the older time occupational health used to mean in relation to factories and mines, but nowadays it is applied to all types of employment including agriculture.

Ergonomics (study of human engineering) is the term used for study of man and his working environment. The term ergonomics is derived from Greek words, ergon meaning work and nomos meaning law. Ergonomics in its simplest form means “fitting the job to the worker”. Ergonomics include designing of machines, tools, equipments, layout of the places of work, method of work in order to achieve greatest efficiency of man and machine. The aim of ergonomics is to achieve the best results and also maintain best health of the worker. By applying ergonomics to all areas of employment the number of accidents have reduced and the efficiency of worker and overall health condition has improved.

The modern concept of occupational health now cover all types of employment like commercial enterprises, trade, service sector, information technology sector, forestry and agriculture. It also include subject of industrial hygiene, industrial diseases, industrial and other accidents (road, railway and air accidents), toxicology, industrial rehabilitation and occupational psychology.

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