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What is the difference between occupational health and occupational safety?

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Bryan McWhorter
Profile Picture of Bryan McWhorter Bryan McWhorter is a safety professional with eight years of experience in driving and teaching safety. Bryan gained his knowledge and experience as the safety officer and Senior Trainer for Philips Lighting. Philips is a strong health and well-being company that promotes a safety first culture.  Full Bio
Q:What is the difference between occupational health and occupational safety?

Most government agencies that monitor worker safety look at all work related health and safety data, including recorded injuries and diseases. This includes all health issues caused by a work environment.

Occupational safety addresses potential safety hazards that can cause injury, whereas occupational health addresses potential health concerns. Occupational safety pertains more to the physical well-being of employees, while occupational health covers the employees' overall well-being.

Occupational health programs can be quite proactive by seeking to improve an employee’s health and well-being. Employers may offer smoker cessation classes, or even have on site gym. At the very least, employers are responsible for identifying potential health concerns related to the job and controlling them just as they would with safety hazards.

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