2002, Number 5
Rev Fac Med UNAM 2002; 45 (5)
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ABSTRACTThese two very related disciplines have a different objective, so knowledge building and historical evolution have been qualitatively distinct. During the time of Galeno and Plinio, there was a preoccupation to learn more about the specific diseases of tanners and chemists and to establish measures against the damaging effects of lead dust. Later, in the XVI Century, Agricola and Paracelso identified pulmonary diseases and laid the foundations of toxicology. In the XVII Century, an Italian called Rammazzini wrote a book about workers’ diseases and he is considered to be the founder of workers’ health.
In the XX Century, the International Organization of Work should be recognized as an important development, as should the initiation of the Social Security system in Mexico in 1943. The object being studied in Workers’ Health is the disease, whilst Health in the Workplace focuses on the person. In addition, the epidemiology that forms part of the latter, identifies risks and establishes preventive measures; workers’ health is seen as a collective phenomenon, which is recognized throughout the population.