Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Occupational Safety and Health
Jamie L. Johnson
Occupational safety and health deals with reducing and eliminating all work safety hazards, including illnesses, diseases, stress, injuries, and repeated trauma. The field of occupational health comprises multiple specialty areas such as statistics, social sciences, health sciences, ergonomics, safety engineering, and biohaz-ard waste and control. Individuals pursuing this career can find employment in private industry, federal and state government, and colleges and universities. Occupational health specialists seek to understand the injuries and illnesses that occur within the workplace, as well as causative factors associated with the injuries. Such an understanding is a critical step in prevention. Tracing injuries and illnesses back to their underlying causes helps occupational health specialists establish primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention programs to reduce the amount of worker displacement and psychosocial anguish and, therefore, increase productivity. The Industrial Revolution sparked the need to reform the working environment when the textile industry switched from human and animal ...