Occupational and Environmental Medicine: Applications and Implications to Forensic Medicine

  • Robin Chase
Reference work entry


Occupational health and safety is the discipline concerned with protecting the safety, health, and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. Occupational and environmental medicine is the branch of clinical medicine most active in the field of occupational health and safety. Occupational physicians (also known as occupational medicine specialists) are expert in work processes, such as workplace chemicals and their biological effects; physical hazards, such as ionizing and non-ionizing radiation; heat or cold; shift work; work-related stress; manual handling; and musculoskeletal injuries and pain.

Occupational medicine has a long history, and its modern practice requires close knowledge of relevant law(s) and the multifactorial impacts upon injured people. In the context of forensic medicine, practitioners of occupational and environmental medicine must take into account the epidemiology of illness and disease, work factors, occupational hazards, and psychosocial factors to link into diagnosis and causality. The legal medicine report (also referred to as the medicolegal report) must itself consider mechanisms of injury, particularly in the occupational setting, malingering, violence, and abnormal illness behavior. Occupational physicians are the only doctors formally trained in assessment of the workplace and are in a unique position to provide opinions about the development of injury, the recovery process, and fitness for work.


Occupational Health Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Injured Worker Personal Protective Equipment Workplace Bully 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fellow and Past President of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Royal Australasian College of PhysiciansJobfit Health GroupWayvilleAustralia

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