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Identifying risks to safety: Hazards of assessment methods

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The specific considerations to be made when establishing the potential hazards of proposed assessment methods are largely dependent on the nature of the assessment method: each method should be considered separately.  You should consider the following:

  • The nature of any proposed assessment methods to determine the potential mechanism by which they could represent a hazard to human health
  • The likelihood that assessment methods could actually cause harm to human health and the severity of this potential harm
  • The risk that the proposed assessments may uncover information about the participants' health of which they were unaware
  • The nature of the work to be undertaken and a detailed review of the control measures to safeguard human health and to handle sensitive health information

Be aware that the risks of using assessment methods involving ionising radiation in research are governed by law (see ‘Statutory regulations: Ionising radiation' on this Tool Kit).


  • 1. AMS Report ‘Microbial Challenge Studies of Human Volunteers’

    An Academy for Medical Sciences (AMS) report that addresses the risks, benefits and conduct of microbial challenge studies of human volunteers, with particular emphasis on vaccine development. Although directed specifically at best practise in microbial challenge studies, most of the findings can be applied more generally to experimental medicine studies.

    Good Practice for em studies specifically Date added: 29 October 2008
  • 2. MRC EM Risk Assessment Tool (0KB)

    A risk assessment tool for experimental medicine studies

    Good Practice for em studies specifically Date added: 6 October 2009