Health and safety

Occupational health and safety

Occupational health and safety (OSH) is a commonly used term for a set of rules for the safe and hygienic performance of work, and is a separate field of knowledge dealing with the shaping of appropriate working conditions.

The field of occupational health and safety includes ergonomics, occupational medicine, labour economics, occupational psychology, technical safety and others. It is a set of rules for the safe provision of work under hygienic conditions. The term ‘safety’ is variously understood in practice and can refer to keeping a hazard under control, a condition where the risk is at an acceptable level or a condition that complies with the standard provided for safety.

The National Labour Inspectorate (PIP) is the guardian of compliance with occupational health and safety regulations and principles in Polish workplaces. The basic labour law requirements concerning OSH are contained in Section X of the Labour Code – as well as in a number of ordinances, including the most important Ordinance on general health and safety at work (Journal of Laws of 2003, No. 169, item 1650, as amended) and Polish Standards.

Increasingly, occupational health and safety in companies is becoming a management subject, just like quality management according to ISO 9001 or environmental management according to ISO 14001. The nomenclature is also gradually changing – increasingly, an organisation’s high level of attention to occupational health and safety is called a safety culture. In 2018, the international standards organisation ISO issued the new ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems standard (the standard replaced the previous PN-N-18001 and OHSAS 18001 standards). The health and life of every employee is extremely important.