Occupational medicine is a medical specialty that deals with the interaction of individual employees and their work place. This includes such areas as:
- Ergonomics: the layout and design of the workstation, and the tools needed.
- Exposures to possibly harmful agents, such as some chemicals, noise, or radiation.
- Employee health and productivity.
- Work-related injuries.
Goals of care are to protect the worker and help him return to full productivity after an illness or injury occurs.
An occupational medicine physician is a board-certified physician with a master’s degree in public health who leads a team consisting of occupational health nurses, industrial hygienists, toxicologists, health physicists, ergonomic specialists, and occupational therapists to evaluate a workplace issue and determine the best solution to the problems that may arise. The goal is to develop a work environment that enables the employee to achieve their full work capabilities and to maximize their earning potential.