Prevention aims at avoiding the onset of diseases or health damages. Should this not be possible, prevention aims at stopping and limiting their progression, both by improving outcome and by avoiding further complications.
It is possible to identify three levels of prevention, according to the purpose.
Primary prevention aims at strengthening those factors that are useful to health and at eliminating those that are responsible for diseases and injuries. Primary prevention interventions are represented, for example, by vaccination, disinfection, disinfestation and health promotion.
Secondary prevention targets early diagnosis (possibly in the preclinical phase) of diseases, in order to interrupt their progression at the onset (e.g. malignant neoplasies' early diagnosis).
An example is represented by health surveillance which consists of evaluating the workers' fitness for work with respect to a specific task by monitoring their health in relation to the risk exposure in the workplace.
Tertiary prevention consists in preventing any complication or permanent sequelae of a progressive pathological state.
As far as Occupational Medicine is concerned, prevention means safeguarding workers' health by means of eliminating occupational risks in order to reduce or stop work injuries or the onset of occupational diseases.


Hazards


Indoor air quality

Air conditioning systems

Photocopying machine

Shavings furniture

Insulating materials

Videoterminals

Illumination

Medications

Special waste assimilable to urban waste

Hospital treated waste

Sharp hospital tools

Electricity

Photocomposition

Wood dust
Risk Factors

Physicals

Laser

Microclimate

Ionizing radiations

Ultraviolet rays

Radio frequencies and microwave radiations

Noise

Ultrasounds

Chemicals

Strong acids and bases

Organic acids

Alcohols, ethers, esters, halogen hydrocarbons

Aldehydes, ketones

Anaesthetics

Chemotherapic drugs

Radionuclides

Detergents

Formaldehyde

Welding fumes

Glutaraldehyde

Radiological contrast agents

Ethylene oxide

Organic and inorganic salts

Biologicals

Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Laboratory and biological risks

Hepatitis B virus

Hepatitis C virus

Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Others

Allergy-inducing agents Allergy-inducing agents

Manual weight lifting

Stress