1567 Future challenges for the occupational physician

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An economic and demographic transition with an ageing workforce, evolving work organisation and new emerging risks is combined with a shortage of Occupational Physicians (OPs). This study aims to propose recommendations for future occupational health surveillance (OHS) and the role of OPs.


First, the PubMed, EU-OSHA and International Labour Organisation databases were screened for literature from 2006 to August 31, 2016, concerning OHS, return-to-work policies and risk management systems in Europe, Japan, Canada and other OECD countries. Second, a standardised mail survey was delivered to all members of the Belgian Professional Association of OPs.


The results prompt a paradigm shift:


The role of OPs must be part of a trend toward evidence-based OHS (i.e., studying the effectiveness and efficiency of ‘fitness for the job assessments’), disability management and engagement with a wide network of stakeholders (such as ONs, GPs and health insurance organisations).

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