During work people can come into contact with chemicals. The nature and variety of these compounds will vary greatly dependent on the work field. While the duration of exposure is in general limited (working time), the concentration of the substances with which the person comes into contact during the work is generally higher than elsewhere. If necessary, protective measures have to be taken to limit the exposure to an acceptable level. Occupational toxicology mainly focuses on the health threats which arise from occupational exposure to chemicals. Based on animal experimental-, epidemiology- and volunteer research the risks of exposure to compounds is determined for this smaller part of the population which distinguishes itself in terms of age and health from the overall population.
There is a course on this topic within the Postdoctoral Education Toxicology (POT) program.
Source: Brodkin E, Copes R, Mattman A, Kennedy J, Kling R, Yassi A. Lead and mercury exposures: interpretation and action. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2007;176(1):59-63. doi:10.1503/cmaj.060790. Image obtained via Wikipedia.org.