While medicine is a practical application field of biology, occupational medicine employs even a broader range of different scientific disciplines. Evidence-based occupational medicine puts scientific research from several disciplines into practice. Examples include physics (noise, light, vibration), chemistry (health effects of chemicals and compounds), psychology (social psychology, impact of stress on mental health), materials science (properties of the materials used) and microbiology (pathogens, environmental microorganisms).
There is a constant stream of new scientific articles that are related to work and working environment. It is essential to constantly monitor that the health check-ups which are being offered are in accordance with the contemporary general medical science in the light of recent scientific reseach. However, it is impossible for one clinic or doctor to keep a constant eye on every published scientific article, especially in such a wide area like occupational medicine. Therefore, a specialist should rely foremost on guidelines and summaries published by large research and development centers in improving his or her knowledge. It is also important to continuously improve one’s knowledge at conferences and trainings connected to the area.
Labour Inspectorate and their web portal Tööelu are the main collectors and publishers of information related to occupational health in Estonia. Bits of information can also be found on the web sites of Töötukassa and Ministry of Social Affairs. Our northern neighbours Finnish have vastly improved their occupational health care since the 1970s and it is recognized as one of the best occupational health care systems in the world. Työterveyslaitos and the universities are responsible for research and development of occupational medicine. Our health check-ups and occupational health care services are based on aforementioned evidence-based sources.