Occupational medicine, until 1960 called industrial medicine,Encyclopædia Britannica
/ref> is the branch of
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...
which is concerned with the maintenance of health in the workplace, including prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries, with secondary objectives of maintaining and increasing productivity and social adjustment in the workplace. Therefore the branch of clinical medicine active in the field of
occupational health and safety Occupational safety and health (OSH), also commonly referred to as occupational health and safety (OHS), occupational health, or occupational safety, is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety Safety is the state of being "safe", ...
. OM specialists work to ensure that the highest standards of occupational health and safety are achieved and maintained in the workplace. While OM may involve a wide number of disciplines, it centers on
preventive medicine Preventive healthcare, or prophylaxis, consists of measures taken for disease prevention.Hugh R. Leavell and E. Gurney Clark as "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical and mental health and efficiency ...
and the management of illness, injury, and disability related to the workplace. Occupational physicians must have a broad knowledge of clinical medicine and be competent in some important fields. They often advise international bodies, governmental and state agencies, organizations, and trade unions. There are contextual links to
physical medicine and rehabilitation Physical medicine and rehabilitation, also known as physiatry, is a branch of medicine Medicine is the Art (skill), art, science, and Praxis (process) , practice of caring for a patient and managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medic ...
and to insurance medicine. In recent times, as the burden of disease from psychosocial occupational risk factors is increasingly being recognized and quantified, occupational medicine is increasingly also focusing on addressing these occupational hazards.


Occupational medicine aims to prevent diseases and promote wellness among workers. Occupational health physicians must: * Have knowledge of potential hazards in the workplace including toxic properties of materials used. * Be able to evaluate employee fitness for work. * Be able to diagnose and treat occupational disease and injury. * Know about rehabilitation methods, health education, and government laws and regulations concerning workplace health. * Be able to manage health service delivery. OM can be described as: ''"work that combines clinical medicine, research, and advocacy for people who need the assistance of health professionals to obtain some measure of justice and health care for illnesses they suffer as a result of companies pursuing the biggest profits they can make, no matter what the effect on workers or the communities they operate in."''Interview with Dr. Stephen Levin/Obituary, Katie Halper, The Nation, February 14, 2012


The first textbook of occupational medicine, ''
De Morbis Artificum Diatriba The De Morbis Artificum Diatriba' (''Dissertation on Workers' Diseases'') is the first book written specifically about occupational illness, occupational diseases and work-related risk prevention. It was written in Latin by Bernardino Ramazzini an ...
'' (''Diseases of Workers)'', was written by Italian physician
Bernardino Ramazzini Bernardino Ramazzini (; 4 October 1633 – 5 November 1714) was an Italian physician. Ramazzini, along with Francesco Torti, was an early proponent of the use of cinchona bark (from which quinine is derived) in the treatment of malaria Ma ...

Bernardino Ramazzini
in 1700.

Governmental bodies

United States

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, ) is the United States federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury Injury, also known as physical ...
Occupational Safety and Health Administration The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA ) is a large regulatory agency of the United States Department of Labor that originally had federal visitorial powers to inspect and examine workplaces. Congress established the agency ...

Russian Federation

Research Institute of Occupational Medicine
of the
Russian Academy of Sciences The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS; russian: Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к (РАН) ''Rossíiskaya akadémiya naúk'') consists of the national academy of Russia; a network of scientific research institutes from across th ...
Moscow Moscow (, ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐˈskva, a=Москва.ogg) is the capital and largest city of Russia Russia (russian: link=no, Россия, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe ...


Non-governmental organizations


International Commission on Occupational HealthThe International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), is an international non-governmental professional society, founded in Milan Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most ...
(ICOH) *
Institute of Occupational MedicineThe Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) was founded in 1969 by the National Coal Board (NCB) as an independent charity in the UK and retains this charitable purpose and status today. The "Institute" has a subsidiary, IOM Consulting Limited, whi ...


* Occupational Medicine Specialists of Canada

United Kingdom

* Faculty of Occupational Medicine

United States

American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) is a United States-based professional society A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) usually seeks to fu ...
American Osteopathic College of Occupational & Preventive Medicine The American Osteopathic College of Occupational & Preventive Medicine (AOCOPM) is the national Osteopathic medicine in the United States, osteopathic medical specialty college for preventive medicine physicians, founded in 1979. AOCOPM consists of ...


European Society for Environmental and Occupational Medicine (EOM)

See also

American Board of Preventive Medicine The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties that issues "certificates of special knowledge" in the specialty of preventive medicine. These certificates are known as "Board Certification" ...
American Osteopathic Board of Preventive Medicine The American Osteopathic Board of Preventive Medicine (AOBPM) is an organization that provides board certification Board certification is the process by which a physician or other professional demonstrates a mastery of basic knowledge and skills th ...
Industrial and organizational psychology Industrial and organizational psychology (I-O psychology), an applied discipline within psychology, is the science of human behavior as it pertains to work. I-O psychology has also been known as occupational psychology, organizational psychology ...
National Occupational Research AgendaThe National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) is a partnership program developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The program was founded in 1996 to provide a framework for research collaborations among univer ...
Occupational disease An occupational disease is any chronic ailment that occurs as a result of work or occupational activity. It is an aspect of occupational safety and health Occupational safety and health (OSH), also commonly referred to as occupational health ...
Occupational health nursingOccupational health nursing is a specialty nursing Nursing is a profession within the health care Health care, health-care, or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the preventive healthcare, prevention, diagnosis, thera ...
Occupational health psychology Occupational health psychology (OHP) is an interdisciplinary area of psychology that is concerned with the health and safety of workers.Schonfeld, I.S., & Chang, C.-H. (2017). ''Occupational health psychology: Work, stress, and health''. New York, N ...
* '' Occupational Health Science'' *
Occupational hygiene Occupational hygiene (United States: industrial hygiene (IH)) is the Anticipate, recognize, evaluate, control, and confirm, anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control, and confirmation of protection from hazards at work that may result in inju ...
* Occupational Medicine (journal) * Trauma und Berufskrankheit


{{Authority control Occupational safety and health Occupational diseases
Medical specialties {{for, surgical specialties, Surgical specialties Clinical medicine Health care occupations ...