Special Issue: Public Health and Safety
Public Health and Safety is generally defined as the science of the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of hazards arising in or from the workplace that could impair the health and well-being of public, taking into account the possible impact on the surrounding communities and the general environment. This domain is necessarily vast, encompassing a large number of disciplines and numerous workplace and environmental hazards. A wide range of structures, skills, knowledge and analytical capacities are needed to coordinate and implement all of the “building blocks” that make up national Public Health and Safety systems so that protection is extended to both public and the environment.
Public health is the art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts of society. The goal of public health is the biologic, physical, and mental well-being of all members of society. Thus, unlike medicine, which focuses on the health of the individual patient, public health focuses on the health of the public in the aggregate. To achieve this broad, challenging goal, public health professionals engage in a wide range of functions involving biological sciences, technology, social sciences, and politics. Public health professionals utilize these functions to anticipate and prevent future problems, identify current problems, identify appropriate strategies to resolve these problems, implement these strategies, and finally, to evaluate their effectiveness. Public health is a global issue, and will become even more so in the 21st century, as the interconnectedness of nations increases through modern communication, resulting in the need to deal with epidemics of communicable and non-communicable diseases and environmental issues that require transnational solutions. Thus, public health must address the challenge of confronting health problems and political, social, and economic factors affecting health, not only at the community, state, and national levels, but at the global level as well.