Dimensions of Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational health aims to protect and improve the complete physical, mental and social well-being of workers. It aims to protect the workers from elements that may negatively affect their health and to prevent them from losing their health. It also aims to provide physical and psychological services suitable and support for the workers. This is a definition of which International Labor Organization (ILO) and World Health Organization (WHO) are in agreement.

Therefore, the principles listed below are in line with the definition above and contemporary developments.

  1. Occupational health and safety – for all jobs and employees
  2. Inseparable – occupational health and occupational safety
  3. Occupational health and safety – beyond mere treatment of diseases and accidents
  4. Primary task – preventive services
  5. Jobsites’ first priority – humanity
  6. second priority – productivity
  7. Interdependence of job and employees’ health care
  8. Prevention and improvement of workers’ health
  9. Interdependence of employee’s living conditions and working conditions
  10. Direct relation between workers’ health and workers” families’ health
  11. Cooperation is essential among Institutions for effective occupational health and safety services
  12. Occupational diseases and accidents as preventable events – their existence is seen as negligence of necessary measures
  13. Labor Law equity as a whole
  14. Respect to law as a whole
  15. Working and non-working (unemployment, strike etc.) times cannot be separated from each other
  16. Occupational health and safety service as a team work. Giving this service with various experts in coordination with each other is a must due to its multi-science characteristics.
  17. Occupational physician has a central role in occupational health and safety equity.
  18. Economic dimension of the issue is related with all participants from the ones planning the services to the ones giving it.
  19. Individual efforts and attempting to create the perfect in only one jobsite cannot be successful. Because it is impossible to have permanent results if the efforts are isolated from the national level and from the world level to some extent. Therefore, firstly regional cooperation programs should be implemented.
  20. Renewing knowledge and thus, continuous education is a must for professionals of occupational health and safety due to rapid changes in science and technology.
  21. Research, statistics and literature reviews have an important place in occupational health and safety.
  22. Protecting and improving health is essentially the obligation of employers.
  23. Degree of success of occupational health and safety service is directly related with the extent service receivers adopt it.
  24. Occupational health and safety as a multi-disciplinary issue

23.1. Related to medical sciences. While talking about its relation with the expert branches of medical sciences, its relation with public health must be given a special emphasize. Occupational health issue is originally rooted in public health although it later on become a separate branch of science due to its special conditions.

23.2. Related to engineering sciences. Engineering sciences have both direct and indirect contributions. Environmental measurements, group measures for working environment (air-conditioning, separation, wet working etc.) are examples of such direct contributions. As for the indirect contributions; measures against fire, periodical checks of lifting-conveying vehicles (like crane), vacuum container and electrical system may be mentioned.

23.3. Related to social sciences. Occupational health and safety is a concern for many social science branches like law, pedagogy, social security, management, psychology, sociology and social anthropology.