WHO/Yoshi Shimizu
                                Farmers harvesting their crops such as carrots in Buguias, Benguet
                                ? Credits

                                Occupational health

                                  Overview

                                  Occupational health is an area of work in public health to promote and maintain highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations.

                                  Its objectives are:

                                  1. the maintenance and promotion of workers' health and working capacity;
                                  2. the improvement of working conditions and the working environment to become conducive to safety and health;
                                  3. the development of work organization and working cultures that should reflect essential value systems adopted by the undertaking concerned, and include effective managerial systems, personnel policy, principles for participation, and voluntary quality-related management practices to improve occupational safety and health.

                                  The science and practice of occupational health involves several disciplines, such as occupational medicine, nursing, ergonomics, psychology, hygiene, safety and other.

                                  The World Health Assembly urges countries to

                                  • develop national policies and action plans and to build institutional capacities on occupational health,
                                  • scale up the coverage with essential interventions for prevention and control of occupational and work-related diseases and injuries and occupational health services
                                  • ensure in collaboration with other relevant national health programmes such as those dealing with communicable and non-communicable diseases, prevention of injuries, health promotion, mental health, environmental health, and health systems development.

                                   

                                  3.5 billion people

                                  are working

                                  nearly half of world’s population are workers

                                  4–6% of GDP

                                  annual economic loss

                                  from illnesses and injuries due to unhealthy and hazardous working conditions

                                  More facts

                                  2 million deaths

                                  from unsafe work

                                  More than 2 million people die every year from work-related diseases and injuries

                                  More information

                                  Highlights

                                  Campaigns

                                  COVID-19 at work

                                  2021

                                  Team of microbiologists pose for a portrait.

                                  International Year of Health and Care Workers

                                  2020

                                  World Patient Safety Day 2020

                                  Publications

                                  All →
                                  Report of the world of work dialogue

                                  Stakeholders from the ‘World of Work’ have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and have had to make huge efforts to adapt...

                                  10 September 2020

                                  Caring for those who care

                                  Health is a universal human right and a main contributor to well-being, economic development, growth, wealth and prosperity for all. Health systems play...

                                  Preventing disease through a healthier and safer workplace

                                  This comprehensive global assessment provides insights on the health impacts that could be avoided through healthier and safer workplaces. It is estimated...

                                  Occupational safety and health in public health emergencies: a manual for protecting health workers and responders

                                  In its Emergency Response Framework, the World Health Organization (WHO) has defined an emergency as a situation that has an impact on the lives and well-being...