Like their counterparts in many other countries, Australian labour historians have largely neglected the health impacts of work. This includes both direct impacts on workers and more indirect effects on working communities. This paper argues that this neglect has diminished the field. Much can be gained by drawing on contemporary and historical research into occupational health and safety (OHS). The paper tries to facilitate this process by indicating points of intersection, tracing the development of influential professions and bodies of knowledge, and suggesting a number of research opportunities and source materials. Referring to a number of other papers in this issue, it highlights how labour historians can address past neglect and make an important contribution to our understanding of OHS.