The classical steps in occupational health practice are:
The ideal approach to hazard prevention is “anticipated and integrated preventive action”, which should include:
The importance of anticipating and preventing all types of environmental pollution cannot be overemphasised. There is, fortunately, an increasing tendency to consider new technologies from the point of view of the possible negative impacts and their prevention, from the design and installation of the process to the handling of the resulting effluents and waste, in the so-called cradle-to-grave approach. Environmental disasters, which have occurred in both developed and developing countries, could have been avoided by the application of appropriate control strategies and emergency procedures in the workplace.
Economic aspects should be viewed in broader terms than the usual initial cost consideration; more expensive options that offer good health and environmental protection may prove to be more economical in the end. The protection of workers’ health and of the environment must start much earlier than it usually does. Technical information and advice on occupational and environmental hygiene should always be available to those designing new processes, machinery, equipment and workplaces. Unfortunately such information is often made available much too late, when the only solution is costly and difficult retrofitting, or worse, when consequences have already been disastrous.
The diagram below shows the role of the Occupational Hygienist in the Prevention of diseases and effects of stressors.
Benefits of Occupational Health and Safety Integration