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What is the difference between occupational health and safety and workplace health and safety?

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 safety and workplace health and safety?
A:

One simple way to understand the difference between occupational health and safety and workplace health and safety is to think of occupational health and safety as the laws, agencies and guidelines created to ensure worker health and safety. This includes agencies such as OSHA in the U.S., The Center for Occupational Health and Safety in Canada, and EU-OSHA in the UK and the rules and guidelines they enforce.

Workplace health and safety, on the other hand, at the very least must ensure that employers follow all rules and guidelines created by the above mentioned agencies. The workplace is where the “rubber hits the road” so-to-speak, as workplace health and safety includes the particular employer's rules and regulations regarding health and safety. These employer rules and regulations may go above and beyond the requirements of the regulatory agencies. It is important that employers know, understand and follow established safety and health rules, including reporting accidents and verifying compliance.

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