An occupational health physician is a primary care doctor who diagnoses and treats work-related illnesses. Occupational diseases also include diseases in the list of vocational diseases. Vocational diseases are relatively rare, but their identification may bring a right to claim for damages against the employer. A similar claim for damages against the employer may arise when the health damage is caused by a work accident. This is the case if the employer was responsible for preventing the accident but did not do so due to negligence or other reasons (i.e the damage was caused by the fault of the employer).
In addition to diagnosing and treating work-related illnesses, the occupational health physician works with the occupational health care team to assess work environment risk factors in order to determine their impact on the employees’ health. Occupational health physician conducts medical examinations of the employees and gives recommendations to the employer on which preventive measures should be implemented in the workplace in order to prevent realisation of work environment risk factors.
In order for medical check-ups to be cost-effective and targeted, they must always be based on the real needs of the employer and employee, and also the analysis of work environment risk factors. According to research, medical examinations that are performed simply because it is requested by the law (i.e they are performed over certain intervals and do not take into account the actual health state of the employee or the nature of the work), are the least effective. Even if the enterprises belong to the same field where there are usually the same risk factors, the health checks cannot be carried out in exactly the same way and one-on-one recommendations cannot be made to improve the work environment or health or the employees.