1 What is occupational health psychology and what can it offer organizations and employees

The emerging business environment calls for new approach to employee welfare and wellbeing. The field has gained significance over the years to include research works and introduce new concepts for emotional and physical wellbeing of workers at workplace. The subsequent paragraphs explore the concept of OHP and its contribution to organizations and employees.
Occupational health psychology (OHP) defines the health risks and hazards to which employees are exposed at workplace. OHP “concerns the application of psychology to improving the quality of work life, and to protecting and promoting the safety, health, and well-being of workers” (CDC, 2012). The concept of health protection relates to the intervention of occupational health psychologists in regulating the exposure of workers to risks and hazards at workplace. The basic function of the health psychologists involves the creation of safe and amiable workplace through adequate knowledge of how work conditions can impact employee health, wellbeing, and morale. The existing work conditions and workplace environment has the potential of causing psychological, social or physical harm to employees. Leka and Houdmont (2010) in their works on OHP reflect that psychological risks at workplace can stem from feelings of job insecurity, ageing workforce, long work hours, stressful work conditions and poor work-life balance. These have the potential to impact the psychological wellbeing of the employees over a period of time. Recent studies in this context have also revealed that psychological risks at workplace are on the rise (Leka and Houdmont, 2010. Bevan, 2010). These studies indicate that workplace stress and chronic health issues can prove to be serious barriers to improved performance and productivity.
Another research study by Bhardwaj and Srivastava (2008), observes that mental health involves “subjective