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Occupational safety and health (OSH), also commonly referred to as occupational health and safety (OHS), occupational health,[1] or occupational safety, is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people at occupation. These terms also refer to the goals of this field,[2] so their use in the sense of this article was originally an abbreviation of occupational safety and health program/department etc.

The goal of an occupational safety and health program is to foster a safe and healthy occupational environment.[3] OSH also protects all the general public who may be affected by the occupational environment.[4]

In common-law jurisdictions, employers have a common law duty to take reasonable care of the safety of their employees.[5] Statute law may, in addition, impose other general duties, introduce specific duties, and create government bodies with powers to regulate occupational safety issues: details of this vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Many countries' health and safety at work arrangements are currently focused on protection against the spread of COVID-19.[149] [150] Both broad and industry-specific workplace hazard controls for COVID-19 have been proposed to minimize risks of disease transmission in the workplace.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) National Occupational Research Agenda COVID-19.[149] [150] Both broad and industry-specific workplace hazard controls for COVID-19 have been proposed to minimize risks of disease transmission in the workplace.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) National Occupational Research Agenda Manufacturing Council established an externally-lead Covid-19 workgroup to provide exposure control information specific to working in manufacturing environments. The workgroup identified disseminating information most relevant to manufactur

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) National Occupational Research Agenda Manufacturing Council established an externally-lead Covid-19 workgroup to provide exposure control information specific to working in manufacturing environments. The workgroup identified disseminating information most relevant to manufacturing workplaces as a priority, and that would include providing content in Wikipedia. This includes evidence-based practices for infection control plans,[151] and communication tools.

Occupational health disparities refer to differences in occupational injuries and illnesses that are closely linked with demographic, social, cultural, economic, and/or political factors.[152]

Education

There are multiple levels of training applicable to the field o

There are multiple levels of training applicable to the field of occupational safety and health (OSH). Programs range from individual non-credit certificates, focusing on specific areas of concern, to full doctoral programs. The University of Southern California was one of the first schools in the US to offer a Ph.D. program focusing on the field. Further, multiple master's degree programs exist, such as that of the Indiana State University who offer a master of science (MS) and a master of arts (MA) in OSH. Graduate programs are designed to train educators, as well as, high-level practitioners. Many OSH generalists focus on undergraduate studies; programs within schools, such as that of the University of North Carolina's online Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and Safety, fill a large majority of hygienist needs. However, smaller companies often do not have full-time safety specialists on staff, thus, they appoint a current employee to the responsibility. Individuals finding themselves in positions such as these, or for those enhancing marketability in the job-search and promotion arena, may seek out a credit certificate program. For example, the University of Connecticut's online OSH Certificate,[153] provides students familiarity with overarching concepts through a 15-credit (5-course) program. Programs such as these are often adequate tools in building a strong educational platform for new safety managers with a minimal outlay of time and money. Further, most hygienists seek certification by organizations that train in specific areas of concentration, focusing on isolated workplace hazards. The American Society for Safety Engineers (ASSE), American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH), and American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) offer individual certificates on many different subjects from forklift operation to waste disposal and are the chief facilitators of continuing education in the OSH sector. In the U.S. the training of safety professionals is supported by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health through their NIOSH Education and Research Centers.

In Australia, training in OSH is available at the vocational education and training level, and at university undergraduate and postgraduate level. Such university courses may be accredited by an Accreditation Board of the Safety Institute

In Australia, training in OSH is available at the vocational education and training level, and at university undergraduate and postgraduate level. Such university courses may be accredited by an Accreditation Board of the Safety Institute of Australia. The Institute has produced a Body of Knowledge which it considers is required by a generalist safety and health professional, and offers a professional qualification based on a four-step assessment.[154]