We use informed consent in the nuclear industry with respect to pregnancy and radiation exposure issues.
The USNRC publishes a Regulatory Guide including a form the employee signs in order to work in radiologically controlled areas at a licensed facility.
However, the employee is limited to receiving an occupational exposure of less than 500mRem for the term of the pregnancy.
I you use informed consent realize that the information of the hazards has to be complete, accurate and the documentation must include the signature of the informed.
Moreover, informing someone does not constitute a waiver. Working in a Laboratory is not sky diving, there is a reasonable expectation of a safe and healthful environment for both mother and child.
Furthermore, if any birth defects happen you are dealing with a Tort (law suit) not a workman’s compensation issue, the mother may be an employee but the child is not. A tort can be many orders of magnitude more expensive than workman’s compensation for the employer (defendant).
On the other hand in our litigious society dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t and you may even have a suit brought against you for denying someone the right to employment. Catch 22.
What is it exactly you want to waive? Your responsibility for damages if something happens to them? In such a case it is unlikely the waiver will be worth the paper it is written on. What may work better is going the route of informed consent, which signifies that you have duly informed the individual of the risks related to their situation, you have exercised due diligence in addressing those risks and finally that they are prepared to accept the risks.
Wayne Wood | Director, Environmental Health and Safety – Directeur, Sant=E9, securit=E9 et environnement| McGill University | 3610 rue McTavish Street, 4th floor | Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3A 1Y2 | Tel: (514) 398-2391
We have recently been tasked with creating a waiver form for students with health conditions such as pregnancy, allergies, etc. This waiver will be signed prior to them beginning work in the research lab. I was wondering if anyone is willing to share a similar waiver form.
Stephanie L. McClouds, MHS
Senior Laboratory Safety Specialist
School of the Sciences
1525 Greenspring Valley Road
Stevenson, Maryland 21153
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