What is OHP and OSH?
Posted on January 22, 2014 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
by Katherine Razzi
Occupational Health Psychology (OHP), a relatively new discipline, emerged from two distinct applied psychology disciplines, health psychology and industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology, as well as occupational health. According to Wikipedia, “[OHP] concerns the application of psychology to improving the quality of work life, and to protecting and promoting the safety, health and well-being of workers. OHP is concerned with psychosocial factors in the work environment and the development, maintenance, and promotion of employee health and that of their families. OHP includes a number of other disciplines, occupational sociology, industrial engineering, economics, preventive medicine, public health and others.
There can be no doubt that many workers in today’s society while having to keep pace with the latest in technology, vying for higher status/pay, or just maintaining one’s position, are highly stressed at times. For heads of households, the stress can be tremendous and depending on the pressure, even dangerous to one’s health. Again, I quote Wikipedia, “The psychological strain, which in turn affects the health, increases due to the strong pressure of time, but also by the complexity of work, growing responsibilities, concern for long-term existential protection and more. The mentioned stresses and strains could lead in the long term to irreversible, physical signs of wear as well as to negative effects on the human cardiovascular and immune systems.”
Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) protects the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work. OSH ensures that employees are working in a safe and healthy work environment. Many of you have probably heard the acronym, OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal agency of the United States that regulates workplace safety and health.
OSH may also protect family members, employers, customers, who may be affected in the workplace for moral, legal and financial reasons. There are laws governing OSH practices, which protect both employees and employers. OSH can reduce incidents of sick leave, medical care, injury, illness related costs and disability benefit costs.
I believe it is important to study both OHP and OSH when putting the workplace under the microscope. I find both topics interesting when it comes to employee engagement surveys. Aside from the items, when commenting, it is important to let employers know – specifically why you are stressed, or if work is making you feel physically ill. Stress on the body is so insidious and complex, that most of the time, we are not aware that it is the direct cause of illnesses, both physical and mental.