Occupational safety and health (OSH), also commonly referred to as occupational health and safety (OHS), occupational health, or workplace health and safety (WHS), is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people at work. These terms also refer to the goals of this field, so their use in the sense of this article was originally an abbreviation of occupational safety and health program/department etc.
The goal of occupational safety and health programs is to foster a safe and healthy work environment. OSH may also protect co-workers, family members, employers, customers, and many others who might be affected by the workplace environment. In the United States, the term occupational health and safety is referred to as occupational health and occupational and non-occupational safety and includes safety for activities outside of work.
Health and safety is one of the oldest engineering concerns. Sanitation engineering and public health drastically improved the quality of life amongst ancient peoples, through the construction of aqueducts and sewage drainage systems. Working with machinery can greatly simplify certain tasks, but also leaves room for dangerous workplace accidents. With the Industrial Revolution, machinery became much larger and more complex, and the need for safety became a much more prominent concern. Topics in this category deal with the concern for human safety in and out the workplace and the general well-being and healthiness of the population.