Risk assessment is a scientific method used to determine an individual risk of developing a specific adverse health effect due to a specific exposure. There are four components to risk assessment or management. The first is hazard identification, which is based on in vitro tests, animal bioassays, and epidemiological studies. The second component is the dose-response assessment that includes susceptibility, age, and the gene-environment. The third component is the exposure assessment that investigates the types, levels, and the duration of exposures. The final component is the risk characterization that examines the nature of the risk, estimates the adverse effect of the worker, examines the robustness of the studies from the hazard identification, the susceptibility of the population, and the relevant of the mode of action. Occupational risk assessment measures the risk factors for a specific disease from a specific exposure among individual workers. In order to reduce workers compensation cost and to protect at risk employees, employers are considering using genetic testing in the workplace. If genetic testing is used, employers need identify specifically the disease that is associated with the exposure and may need to consider personal habits of the employee that contribute more to an employees health status. There are legal ramifications in both the United States and internationally to genetic testing that both the employer and the employee may consider.
Last date updated on June, 2014