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Work Health and Safety (WHS)

Dr. Jamila Ya’coob

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Since 1950, the World Health Organization and the International Labor Office have been concerned with work health and safety. The global estimations of work-related deaths amounted to 2,000,000 deaths each year.


The field of work health and safety has become a stand-alone science which aims to set rules and regulations that can be achieved within a legislative framework in order to preserve human health and life from the risk of injury, and to preserve his properties and the institutions’ from loss and damage.


There are many interests in work safety and health. The term work health and safety indicates science which is concerned with preserving human safety and health at the time of performing its work by providing an appropriate and safe environment that is free from any causes of accidents, injuries or occupational diseases.


The work safety includes all areas of life, and therefore it is necessary to follow safety rules when dealing with anything that may cause harm and damage, such as dealing with infectious cases, medical waste, sharp tools, electricity, driving a car and even when walking on the street.


One of the most prominent workplaces in which caution and high safety rules are followed are factories, especially those that deal with dangerous materials, such as pharmaceutical factories, and facilities where there is labor congestion or a large number of people, such as large educational and health institutions.


It often comes to the minds of some of us that the human resources department in organizations is responsible for the employees’ recruitment, training and performance evaluation. As for the health, safety and diseases of employees, which may be due to the employee’s neglect of himself and the way he implements the tasks, it is not their concern.

Paying attention to the human capital, which is the most important asset of the institution, is one of the basics of the work of human resources management.

This falls through several classifications that developed in several reasons, including: the moral duty that requires the institution to take care of the workers and protect them from work injuries and diseases to which they may gradually be exposed due to the accumulation of work performance over time, especially since the reason for the success of any institution and its productivity are the workers, in addition to the legislation and laws that obligate institutions to provide all means of protection and prevention so that no employee is exposed to danger or injury.


Laws may also oblige the companies to provide health insurance to their employees, especially in work that requires special clothing or protective equipment such as gloves, head or face protectors, in addition to facilitating work by providing devices that help the worker avoid working with his hands or making double efforts.

Injury to employees constitutes a material cost to the institution, which appears in the form of compensation paid to employees or their families when they are injured, disabled, or dead, in addition to the costs of repair or replacement of the damaged tools, equipment, devices or other indirect costs such as the costs of choosing and training the new employee who will replace the injured one.


Work health and safety programs aim to assist individuals in the following:

  • Assigning the worker a job that is commensurate with his psychological and physical capabilities in order to achieve harmony between him and the work he will be doing.

  • Ensuring that the worker is protected in the work environment from the dangers resulting from the presence of factors that harm his health.

  • Ensuring that the worker is not deprived of reasons of health due to his working conditions.

  • Achieving and maintaining the highest levels of social, psychological and physical fitness for the workers in all fields of work.


There is no doubt that the failure to ensure the health and psychological and physical safety of workers and their comfort in the work environment is a factor that severely affects the deterioration of the work system, production and economic activity. Therefore, the institutions should pay attention to this aspect and know how to avoid any shortcomings.

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