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Worker representation and workplace health and safety

David Walters og Theo Nichols

Palgrave 2007, 192 s. ISBN 9780230001947

Despite gradual improvements in safety technology over the course of the last century, work related fatalities, injuries and ill-health still represent a major and unacceptable burden on both society and the economy in most countries. The failure of employers to properly discharge their legal duties to prevent this harm to their employees, provides strong ethical and pragmatic reasons why people at work should have rights to adequate representation of their health and safety interests.

This book considers the practice of such worker representation on health and safety at work. Drawing on ten case studies from the UK construction and chemicals industries, it critically analyzes existing statistical data, brings together a wide range of international materials, and examines the extent to which existing arrangements deliver results. It finds that whereas worker representation can improve health and safety, the preconditions for this are only present in a minority of workplaces. Proposals are made to redress the weaknesses of the currently dominant regulatory model.
Contents
Introduction
PART ONE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF REPRESENTATION AND CONSULTATION ON HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK AND THE EVIDENCE OF ITS EFFECTIVENESS
The Development of Statutory Measures on Worker Health and Safety Representation
The Effectiveness of Representative Worker Participation
PART TWO: REPRESENTATION AND CONSULTATION IN TWO INDUSTRIES: CASE STUDIES
The Chemicals Industry
The Construction Industry
PART THREE: WHAT WORKS AND ITS POLICY IMPLICATIONS
Implementing Effective Worker Representation and Consultation
Conclusions and Ways Forward?
Author Biographies
DAVID WALTERS is Professor of Work Environment at the Cardiff Work Environment Research Centre, UK, and editor of the journal Policy and Practice in Health and Safety. He has researched and written extensively on the social relations of health and safety in the UK and elsewhere, as well as on work environment regulation generally.

THEO NICHOLS is Distinguished Research Professor, Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales. He has written widely in the field of Economic Sociology, including on the sociology of industrial injury. His most recent books include Global Management and Local Labour (with Nadir Sugur), Labour in a Global World (with Surhan Cam), and The Other Car Workers (with Erol Kahveci).