Health and Safety

Health and Safety. Where does health end and safety begin?
September 9, 2016

Health and Safety. There are so many different topics. Where does health end and safety begin?  The article provides a list of topics and draws a line between these two complimentary fields.

Safety is often associated with the prevention of physical harm: falls, amputations, electrical shock, etc. Health (or Occupational Hygiene) is associated with the prevention of sickness: cancer, reproductive effects, liver disease, etc. However, some safety and health issues incorporate a combination of safety and health issues. Confined spaces are one such example. Entrapment is a safety issue while oxygen deficiency is more of a health issue. It may be interesting to look at what topics fall under safety, which topics fall strictly under health and which topics are a combined effort.


While the majority of topics fall under safety, you may be surprised to know that most fatalities are health-related. Ontario’s annual report identified 233 total workplace fatalities. 81 of these workplace fatalities were traumatic fatalities (falls, crushed, etc) and 152 occupational disease fatalities. Thus, health-related fatalities outnumber safety related fatalities almost 2 to 1.