While some careers simply demand an employee to sit in front of a desk for the most part of their job, other career options come with certain risks that the employees may face. Work-related injuries and diseases are relatively common. The International Labor Organization estimates that about 340 million people suffer a work-related accident or injury each year. Additionally, an estimated 160 million employees suffer a work-related disease each year. Among these, about 2.3 million are estimated to pass away due to the injury or disease suffered, calculating to about 6,000 deaths per day.
The Role of Occupational Health in Workplace Injuries and Diseases
Occupational health refers to the implementation of specific protocols and actions that take place in case an employee develops an illness due to the workplace or suffers an accident or injury.
The risks associated with each type of career or workplace need to be considered, and appropriate occupational health protocols should be implemented based on the seriousness of the risk. Statistics show that hazardous substances in the workplace cause over 650,000 deaths per year, making safety protocols and the right strategies for quickly addressing such an accident critical.
The construction industry is one of the most important sectors to be considered when it comes to looking at where accidents happen most frequently.
Furthermore, occupational health is also suggested to focus more on those who might be particularly vulnerable in terms of workplace accidents, which has been found to be particularly the aging population.
The World Health Organization reports that the implementation of appropriate occupational health strategies leads to workers who are not only healthier but also more productive. Furthermore, safer workplaces have been proven to provide a contribution to sustainable development.
Both the organization and the employee gains benefit from occupational health programs. The organization gains the benefit of a positive image, and there is an improvement in staff morale. Staff turnover is reduced, along with absenteeism. There is also a reduction in insurance and health care costs, as well as a lower risk of suffering litigation and fines due to workplace injuries.
On the employee’s side, there is improved health and a better sense of their own well-being. Employees also feel safer, less stressed, and more satisfied with their job when they know that appropriate measures are taken to protect them.
Occupational health plays an important role in helping to provide effective protocols for employees who are injured on the job, as well as in cases where an employee might suffer a disease that is related to the workplace. The implementation of occupational health strategies has already proven effective and will certainly continue to provide a reduction in workplace-related deaths in the future.