The determination of risk at work is a shared responsibility of the employer and the employee, but objective evaluation of determining risk may be outweighed by economic considerations. Who and in what instances a person shall work is further modified by legal, social, and cultural restraints. The physician, as the agent of the employer, is often a key factor in deciding the real risk inherent in working in a specific environment, in informing management of the risk, and in determining which worker will accept the risk.
The conscientiousness, competence, and ethical character of the physician are challenged by these responsibilities and circumstances, and a code of behavior is outlined for professional conduct of the occupational physician.
©1976 The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine