Occupational safety and health, also commonly referred to as occupational health and safety, occupational health, or occupational safety, is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people at occupation.
Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is health and safety in all workplaces. OHS is important because it keeps the working population (in SA, approximately 12 million) healthy and safe – and there is a positive relationship between good OHS and the creation and maintenance of sustainable and high productivity, as well as economic development. In addition, some sectors are considered to be high risk – e.g. mining, construction, fi shing, agriculture and healthcare – and these sectors especially have a legislative imperative to implement suitable OHS programmes in their workplaces. OHS programmes implemented properly contribute positively to the prevention of occupational diseases and injuries. Prevention is far preferable to treatment, as often there is no treatment for occupational diseases and injuries.
OHS is suitable for people with enquiring minds who have an interest and passion for improving conditions in workplace environments. OHS programmes are informed by research and service delivery, and an important component of OHS as a profession is teaching and training of professionals, as well as employers, managers and supervisors, workers and workers’ representatives