Occupational medicine is the branch of clinical medicine most active in the field of occupational health. OM specialists work to ensure that the highest standards of occupational health and safety can be achieved and maintained. While it may involve a wide number of disciplines, it centers on the preventive medicine and management of illness, injury or disability that is related to the workplace. Occupational physicians must have a wide knowledge of clinical medicine and be competent in a number of important areas. They often advise international bodies, governmental and state agencies, organizations and trade unions. There are contextual links to insurance medicine.
Occupational health aims for the promotion and maintenance of physical, mental and social well-being of workers. This includes the prevention of negative health outcomes in workers caused by their working conditions; the protection of workers in their employment from risks resulting from factors adverse to health; placing and maintenance of a worker in an occupational environment adapted to their physiological and psychological equipment. In sum, the goal of occupational medicine is the adaptation of work to people and of each person to their job. OM can be described as:
"work that combines clinical medicine, research, and advocacy for people who need the assistance of health professionals to obtain some measure of justice and health care for illnesses they suffer as a result of companies pursuing the biggest profits they can make, no matter what the effect on workers or the communities they operate in."