Occupational medicine in Denmark


Beginning: The doctor C.J.E Hornemann, was one of the first, which in 1872 investigated child labour in Danish factories.  Two percent of the workers were children and several of them were under 10 years.

In 1873 the first steps taken towards the establishment of  The Danish Working Environment Authority

The countries first occupational phycician was Skuli Gudjonsson, who in 1939 became the first professor of Hygiene, University of Aarhus. The focus was on lung diseases and toxicology.

In 1946 the first Department of Occupational medicine at the Rigshospitalet in Kopenhagen was established.

In 1982 the specialty was recognized and the training organized.

Population of Denmark

Total: 5.511.451

Workforce 2.800 000

Physicians in Denmark

19.840 physicians

65 working in the specialty (129 total) Specialists of occupational medicine

Nature of Occupational Health Services

  • Public health care (Hospitals)
  • Very few in private companies (5-6)



Postgraduate training takes five years after the basic training (1 year), Tree years in a hospitaldepartment of Occupational Medicine, two years in, rehabilitation, lungdiseases, neurology, dermatology). Workplace knowledge and visits on workplaces with the Danish Working Environment Authority. Theoretical training in epidemiology and statistics, professional diseases, risk assesment, industrial hygienics, heath promotion and a scientifik thesis or article.

Continuing Medical Education is not to be licenced by the authorities, but there is much focus on it in the specialty..


  • Diagnosis of Occupational Diseases
  • Risk assesment
  • Councelling to the employers and employees.
  • Research in preventing Occupational disease

Hot Topics

  • Work related metal diseases
  • Ability to work and sickness absence
  • Professional diseases


Dansk Selskab for Arbejds- og miljømedicin 

The Danish scientific association for environmental and occupational medicine 


President: Ole Carstensen

Address: Department of Occupational Medicine, Regional Hospital Vest  Tlf: +45 78 43 35 00  Website: