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.Methods
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.Results
The results prompt a paradigm shift:Discussion
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).