|Admittedly, we do not yet have a clear definition for it.
But it could be said that occupational health is faced with new challenges linked with
today's internationalization. There are at least several contact points between
occupational health and internationalization, exemplified as follows.
- Occupational health issues in developing countries
(their recognition, assessment, and enforcement of countermeasures)
- International dissemination of existing knowledge and
experience via activities of international organizations, national level bi- and
multi-lateral co-operation, NGOs
- International exchange at institutional,
organizational and personal levels to promote understanding and enhance formulation of
scientific information and technology via collaborative research, scientific meetings,
publications, personnel exchange programs, attendance to training programs
- (Multi-national) Corporate concern and needs on
health and safety issues in overseas plants/branch offices (this could surface as the
"travel medicine" issue from the point of view of the developed world, or as the
"double standards" issue from the point of view of the developing world)
- Setting and enforcement of international standards
including ILO conventions and ISO standards related to occupational health
However, the pace of internationalization is so
rapid that today's occupational health, as a discipline, is dazzled and has not been able
to really identify the scope of these emerging issues. We feel that the term
"international occupational health" is adequate and timely to bundle together
such issues of common nature, and ultimately, would serve as a platform to cope with such
issues, until proven otherwise.
- To connect occupational health professionals around
To identify and disseminate information on
international occupational health.
- To facilitate multinational research in the field of
Copyright © Dept. Environmental
Epidemiology, UOEH, Japan