Occupational medicine in Austria



General practitioners are working as company physicians in big companies since the beginning of the 20th century. During the sixties the preventive character becomes more and more important.

1973: Austria obligates large companies to employ company physicians, the first academy of OM was founded.

2000: Every employer has the right for occupational medicine.


In the end of 19th and beginning of 20th century especially hygienic specialists did research on occupational health issues.

1969: The first chair for occupational medicine was established at the University of Vienna

1979: University Hospital of OM in Vienna, now Institute of OM as a part of University Hospital






 ca. 8.000.000


ca. 3.000.000

Physicians in Austria

ca. 39.500

Occupational physicians

ca. 1.600

Specialists of occupational health

ca. 110

Full time occupational physicians

ca. 300

Full time specialists of occupational health

ca. 50




Private, companies, outsource

Companies have the possibility to employ occupational physicians, to

enter into contracts with freelance occupational physicians or

to hire an occupational health centre.



There are two possibilities in Austria to practice the occupational health profession. After three years of clinical training to become general practitioner, the doctor has to attend a 12 weeks program (360 lessions) at the academy for occupational health. Upon completion the doctor can start working as an occupational physician in companies.

The second possibility is to complete a training to become a specialist for occupational health. This lasts for six years. Four out of these six years have to be done for example in a centre for occupational health. The remaining two years have to be spent in the diverse clinical departments of a hospital.


The occupational physician has to do several examinations if employees are exposed to substances that are damaging one´s health, for which the legislation has specified the need for examinations. The occupational physicianhas to be called in cases of health protection, determining different dangers, planning of place of work and workspace, reintegration of diseased employees. The occupational physician is working closely with the safety engineers.


Training of specialists of occupational health

Scientific research

Occupational health at universities for medicine


Österreichische Gesellschaft für Arbeitsmedizin

President ÖGA: Erich Pospischil
Vice presidents: Christine Klien, Reinhard Jäger


Arbeitsmedizinischer Dienst Linz

Kaplanhofstrasse 1

4020 Linz



T 0043 732 781560-0

Arbeitsmedizin in Österreich   VDDWAKTUEL Ausgabe ok tober 2010

F 0043 732 784594