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The determinants of workplace health and safety practice in the UK

Wadsworth, Emma Jane Kirsty and Walters, David 2014. The determinants of workplace health and safety practice in the UK. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety 12 (2) , pp. 3-22. 10.1080/14774003.2014.11667801

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Abstract

In each EU member state, national and European legislation sets out how occupational safety and health should be managed in the workplace. How legislation is implemented in practice, however, is affected by the environments and contexts in which enterprises operate. Influential characteristics at international, national and sectoral levels, including regulatory frameworks, industrial relations’ and social protection traditions and systems, occupational safety and health support infrastructures, and the economic and labour market climates, have been identified by a number of research sources. This paper considers the effects of these influences on the way in which occupational safety and health is managed in the UK. It identifies key contextual determinants as being, on the one hand, long-standing traditions (of industrialisation, health and safety management and regulation, and worker representation), and on the other hand as current trends (of deregulation and changes in employment, work organisation and worker representation). The paper concludes that the tensions between these two ‘opposing forces’ give rise to serious concerns about the sustainability of the UK’s relatively good previous track record on occupational safety and health and its management, particularly for those in the growing numbers of non-traditional workplaces and employment situations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1477-3996
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2019 11:48
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/87092

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