H.F. van der Molen PhD


H.F. van der Molen PhD

Other Academic Staff
Main activities
Education, Research, Other
Occupational epidemiology, Occupational diseases, Prevention & implementation research
Focus of research

Focus of research is threefold:

1) Signaling and assessment of occupational diseases

2) Epidemiology of occupational diseases

3) Implementation of preventive measures to reduce work related diseases


Systematic reviews for guidelines assessment occupational diseases

In total, 56 guidelines for the assessment of occupational diseases (ODs) are available (www.beroepsziekten.nl). To increase the evidence base of these guidelines, systematic reviews - preferably with meta analyses - are performed to identify exposure criteria for ODs for assessing work related risk factors and prioritizing preventive measures. Recent examples of such systematics reviews are: 1) subacromial pain syndrome, 2) lumbosacral radiculopathy syndrome, 3) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 4) stress related disorder.


Occupational epidemiology of occupational diseases

Several projects aimed to enhance insight into the impact of ODs at (inter)national level. Research activities focuses on: 1) estimations of population attributable fractions for the Netherlands and the World Health Organization (WHO) and 2) trend analyses by using multilevel negative binomial regression models with random effects in collaboration with the European Modernet work. Sensitivity analysis compared different approaches for handling missing cases.


Prevention of risk factors of occupational diseases

Latency and frequency of occurrence of ODs are taken into account in study designs when performing the evaluation of ODs interventions. Also, utility and feasibility of participatory approaches are studied to increase the implementation of health and safety measures at worksites. Recent examples of my implementation studies are: 1) evaluation of participatory strategies on the use of ergonomic measures and costs in construction companies and 2) identify facilitators and barriers for employers and workers for interventions to reduce work-related risk factors associated with upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders in the agricultural sector.

Key publications
  • van der Molen Henk F, de Vries Sanne, Sluiter Judith K Occupational Diseases among Workers in Lower and Higher Socioeconomic Positions International journal of environmental research and public health 2018;15 (12) [PubMed]
  • van der Molen Henk F., Foresti Chiara, Daams Joost G., Frings-Dresen Monique H. W., Kuijer P. Paul F. M. Work-related risk factors for specific shoulder disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis Occupational and environmental medicine 2017;74 (10):745-755 [PubMed]
  • Leider Priscilla C., Boschman Julitta S., Frings-Dresen Monique H. W., van der Molen Henk F. When is job rotation perceived useful and easy to use to prevent work-related musculoskeletal complaints? Applied ergonomics 2015;51:205-210 [PubMed]
  • van der Molen Henk F., Basnet Prativa, Hoonakker Peter L. T., Lehtola Marika M., Lappalainen Jorma, Frings-Dresen Monique H. W., Haslam Roger, Verbeek Jos H. Interventions to prevent injuries in construction workers Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 2018;2018 (2):CD006251 [PubMed]
  • Boschman J. S., Brand T., Frings-Dresen M. H. W., van der Molen H. F. Improving the assessment of occupational diseases by occupational physicians Occupational medicine (Oxford, England) 2017;67 (1):13-19 [PubMed]
All Publications
Curriculum Vitae

Dr H.F. van der Molen

Bachelor degree 1982  : Physical therapy 

Master degree 1987      : Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; a major in Functional Anatomy and a minor in Psychologyy

Master degree 2005      : Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Main subject: Epidemiology

PhD 2005                      : University of Amsterdam: Evidence-based implementation of ergonomic measures in construction work


International activities

Guest Editor Journal of Clinical Medicine (2018-2019);

Editorial board of Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health (2019 onwards);

Editorial board Applied Ergonomics (2011 onwards);

Cost actions: Modernet: Detecting new and emerging risks and trends occupational diseases (2010-onwards); Omeganet: Occupational cohort studies (2018 onwards);

Organization of eight international congress sessions on ergonomics in construction;

Chair and co-chair of the Technical Committee concerning Building and Construction of the International Ergonomic Association (2003-2018);

Eurostat and taskforce for registered occupational diseases in the Netherlands & Europe;

WHO: Occupational falls & Global burden of disease for occupational MSDs;

Reviewing papers for various journals on ergonomics and occupational health & safety;

Invited lectures  Spain, Coruna 2008; Florence, Italy 2008;  Moerkerke, Belgie 2009; Bergamo, Italy 2011; Bilbao, Spain 2012; Ankara, Turkije 2018.


Prizes, awards

Transfer of academic knowledge to sectors of industry; European Union good practice award for preventing musculoskeletal disorders at work (ergonomics glaziers’ project) (2000).

Transfer of academic knowledge to sectors of industry; Dutch ergonomics honorable record for instrument to select ergonomic hand tools for construction work (2006).

Transfer of academic knowledge to sectors of industry; Burgerpenning Dutch award for best scientific contribution on the area of work and health over a two-years period (2007).

European network on occupational diseases (Modernet); Co-author in ‘Best Paper in Epidemiology in Occupational Health Award’ (2016); Editor’s choice in OEM 2017 for ‘Work-related risk factors for specific shoulder disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis’.

IEA Fellow Award (2016). This is a tribute for major contributions to the ergonomics / human factors field and the benefits given to the (scientific) world.

Research programmes

H.F. van der Molen PhD (Promoties)

Prof. M.H.W. Dresen PhD (Occupational Diseases; Etiology and prevention of work-related diseases)

Prof. J.K. Sluiter PhD (Medical selection and medical guidance of workers)

S. Kezic PhD (Etiology and prevention of occupational skin diseases)

Current research funding
  • AMC
  • Ministerie van SZW
  • NVAB