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Ethical issues in occupational health research.
Ward-EM; Hurrell-JJ; Colligan-MJ
Occup Med: State of the Art Rev 2002 Oct; 17(4):637-655
This is an overview of ethical issues in occupational health research involving human subjects. Research that requires human subjects review must be distinguished from surveillance or public health practice. Confidentiality and privacy concerns are particularly important in an occupational setting because individual participants may be identifiable through job title or other characteristics, and because there may be concerns about employment discrimination associated with participation status or results. Additional issues include notification of individual test results to the study participants, including whether the results have clinical significance and/or provide other potentially relevant information to the study subjects; consent for banking of biological specimens for future research (e.g., uses of the specimens, plans for anonymization, notification of future results); and the higher level of sensitivity of workplace studies involving genetic modifiers of risk. Many occupational studies involve no more than minimal risk. Studies that involve greater than minimal risk require the investigator to document the potential risks and attempt to minimize them.
Humans; Occupational-health; Regulations; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA
Issue of Publication
Occupational Medicine: State of the Art Reviews. Ethics in the Workplace
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division