Telling the worker about exposure to occupational hazards and their potentially adverse health effects has been established as an ethical principle of occupational health and safety. Situations or issues that may result in incomplete application or nonapplication of this principle include: (1) the employee's need to initiate the disclosure process; (2) medical reluctance to disclose exposure data; (3) long latency periods between exposure and effect; (4) problems of quality control; (5) the use of monitoring methods with low predictive value; (6) statutory secrecy provisions; (7) doctor-patient communication difficulties; (8) serious social and health problems not related to work environment; (9) the nonspecific nature of most work-related morbidity; and (10) the absence of any monitoring whatsoever. Obligatory disclosure of exposure information is hypothesized to spur preventive measures, environmental and personal, for both short- and long-term hazards. Where the foregoing problems interfere with full disclosure, this norm's full preventive role may not be fulfilled. Evaluation of the effect of disclosure requirements on promoting occupational health and safety must include attention to this possibility.
“You shall not put a stumbling block before the blind.”
“Publicity is … a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best disinfectant.”
Louis Brandeis, Other People's Money.