Occupational medicine for a private sector employee

Verified 01 January 2024 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

The employer must protect the health and safety of its employees. Depending on the number of employees in the company, it must set up or join an occupational health and prevention service in the company, commonly referred to as " occupational medicine ”.

What is the role of the occupational physician? Which employer must adhere to occupational medicine? Who are the employees involved in medical follow-up?

We're doing an update on the regulations.

The following employers must set up or join an occupational health and prevention service (OHS):

  • private companies
  • Industrial and Commercial Public Establishments (Epic)
  • Public administrative establishments (Epa) employing staff under private law

The establishment of a SPST within the company or the obligation to join a multi-employer SPST varies according to the company's workforce.

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Company of less than 500 employees

The employer adheres to an occupational health and prevention service business-to-business.

Company of 500 or more employees

The employer chooses the form of the prevention and occupational health service. PTSD takes one of the following forms:

  • Preventive and occupational health services in the company
  • Business-to-business occupational health and prevention service


the individual employer must be affiliated with an occupational health and prevention service.

Employees hired under one of the following employment contracts are monitored by occupational medicine:

Special rules apply for employees holding identical jobs with different employers.

Please note

young people doing traineeships as part of school and university education are not affected.

Contact details of occupational medicine must be displayed by the employer on the workplace.

You can also contact the DDETS: titleContent to obtain the contact details of the occupational physician.

Yes, the employee can contact directly occupational medicine. He does not have to ask his employer for the agreement.

The employee cannot be sanctioned by his employer.

The occupational physician works in an occupational health and prevention service (OSH).

The tasks of prevention and health services at work are carried out by a multidisciplinary team comprising in particular occupational physicians, occupational risk prevention workers and nurses.


The role of the occupational physician is mainly preventive.

The occupational physician shall conduct health-at-work activities to safeguard the health of workers throughout their working life.

It shall monitor the health of workers in relation to their age, risks to their safety, health and hardship at work.

It shall advise the employer, the employees and the employees' representatives on the necessary measures relating to the following:

Please note

the occupational physician does not provide care. He doesn't issue a prescription or sick leave.

As part of his duties, the doctor writes a company card which is transmitted to the employer.

The occupational doctor also draws up an annual report on his activity. This report shall be forwarded in particular to the Social and Economic Committee (ESC) and the employer.

Actions and organization

The occupational doctor shall have free access to the workplace.

He shall carry out visits on his own initiative or at the request of the employer or the Social and Economic Committee (ESC).

The occupational doctor or nurse meets the employee several times during his career.

General case

There are several types of medical visits for employees:


There are several types of medical visits for apprentices:

  • Information and prevention visit carried out within a period not exceeding 2 months from the date of hiring. Where the apprentice is a minor, or where night workHowever, this visit must take place before he is hired.
  • Medical examination of aptitude which must be carried out by the occupational doctor if the apprentice is assigned to regulated works. This examination must take place before he is hired.
  • Visits by prerecovery and resumption of work
  • Visits carried out at the request of the employer, the worker or the occupational doctor

Please note

at any time, a medical examination may be carried out by the occupational doctor to check the apprentice's ability to practice the trade he is learning. This visit is at the initiative of the apprentice (or his legal representative), the employer or the director of the Apprenticeship Training Center (ATC).

The occupational physician may propose to the employer individual measures for the accommodation, adaptation or conversion of the work station.

It may also propose measures for the organization of working time.

Where this is not possible and where the worker's state of health justifies a change of position, he shall declare the worker unfit for his post.

The notice of unfitness include information on the worker's reclassification.

Within the framework of enhanced individual follow-up, the occupational physician may issue an aptitude or unfitness notice to the employee and the employer.

The time spent on medical examinations and examinations, including further examinations, shall be:

  • Caught up in working hours. In this case, the employee is paid as if he had worked
  • Or paid as actual working time when such examinations cannot be carried out during working hours

The transport time and the costs incurred for these visits and examinations shall be borne by the employer.

If the employee or employer wishes to contest the opinions, proposals, written conclusions or indications based on medical evidence, he or she shall shall refer the matter to the conseil de prud'hommes. This should be done within 15 days of notification.

The labor board may consult the labor inspector.

The occupational doctor is informed of the dispute and may be heard by the occupational inspector.

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