What is Occupational Health
Occupational Health (Occ Health) in the work environment is the prevention of injury to employees that has a chronic on-set resulting in slow pace of recovery if it is possible at all. Occ Health injuries do not occur typically from a single exposure. It is many exposures over time that results in significant pathological changes in bodily conditions and processes. It involves exposure potential to Biological, Chemical, Nuclear and Physiological stressors.
How Occupational Health Protection is Accomplished in the Work Environment
The process of providing occupational health protection involves the following major actions:
- Anticipation of exposures to injurious substances.
- Reduction of exposures to the lowest possible levels.
- Medical and epidemiological research that quantifies the effects of exposure and the specific mechanisms of injury.
- Development of safe exposure limits tailored to the work environment,
- Industrial hygiene monitoring to quantify the levels of exposure.
- The employment of exposure reducing activities and equipment.
Resources for the Occupational Health Protection
The classic text on this subject is the National Safety Council’s Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene, now in it’s 6th edition.
Other important resources:
- IH: ACGIH TLVs and BEIs
- IH: IARC Monographs on Cancer
- IH: NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
- IH: NIOSH Guide to Analytical Methods
- IH: National Institutes of Health (NIH) TOXNET
- Ergo: Push Pull Tables (Snook Tables)
- Ergo: Anthropometric Tables (Human Dimensions)
Occupational Medicine Organizations:
- National Association of Occupational Health Professionalss (NAOHP)
- International Corporate Health Leadership Council (ICHLC)
- American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
- ORCHSE Corporate Health Directors Network