Karel Van Damme, M.D.
Occupational Health Physician
Karel Van Damme is a Belgian physician specialized in Occupational Health. Dr. Van Damme has dedicated his career to protecting the health and safety of workers in several capacities: as a public administrator and labor inspector, as a personal advisor to several Belgian federal ministers of work, and as a president of the Belgian Compensation Fund for Occupational Diseases. He is now the president of the Belgian National Council on Protection and Prevention at Work, where employers and trade unions are represented together with experts. Dr. Van Damme played an important role in improving Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) protection of workers at the EU level and was involved in developing regulatory processes both nationally and internationally in the field of OSH. He was a researcher at the Center for Human Genetics at the University of Leuven. In this capacity, he leads several national and European research projects, mainly related to scientific, social, and ethical aspects of susceptibility testing and health surveillance of workers, and on epidemiological research on haemato-lymphopoietic disorders resulting from occupational and environmental exposures. Dr. Van Damme has lectured internationally on OSH and serves as an external expert for the International Labor Organization. Dr. Van Damme is a member of the Collegium Ramazzini, an international group of experts in the fields of occupational and environmental health. In 2017, Dr. Van Damme received the Ramazzini Award for his efforts to improve the ethical basis for screening and monitoring practices in occupational medicine and for his advocacy and efforts to improve occupational safety and health protections in Belgium and internationally.