SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Mass Society, Technological Determinism, Iden

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Published on 24 Jun 2012
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WORK AND HEALTH READING
A CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE ON WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY
-workplace health and safety is highly relevant to our discussion of conflict control and
resistance in the workplace
-health and safety is a contentious issue in union-management contract
POLITICS OF WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY
-early years of canada’s industrialization, workers had little protection from unsafe work-
ing conditions. e.g. resource industries, construction etc.
-death rates and injury rates were high.
-administrative model of regulations developed, in which the government set
standards for health and safety and tried to enforce them.
-employers opposed to them as their profit are threatened
-unions fought for the change and the public was supportive
-no fault compensation, in which injured workers are provide with money, depending on
the severity of injury and partial compensation for lost wages, no matter whose fault.
-enforcement by the sate, collective bargaining by unions, no fault compensation sys-
tem offer little room for direct involvement on the part of workers who are most directly
affected by unsafe and unhealthy working conditions.
-internal responsibility system (IRS) changed this.
-workers personal experience and knowledge of work practices and haz-
ards are an integral solution to health and safety problems
-workers should have the right to participate in the identification and elimi-
nation of workplace hazards.
-health and safety is also management’s responsibilities
-in the IRS, employees are directly involved with management in
monitoring and inspection, and i education and health promotion
in their workplace.
-in canada, the first major initiative of health and safety regulations was the 1972
Saskatchewan Occupational Health Act
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-defined as the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical,
mental, and social well-being of workers and by making joint health and safety
committees mandatory.
THE LABOUR PROCESS AND WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY
-due to regulations, it has reduced some of the power differences between manage-
ment and workers and directly involved each in addressing health and safety issues.
-in employer’s point of view, a better safety record means lower costs of produc-
tion
-critics of the IRS system is that employers ignore the joint committees,
despite legislation.
-rather than seeking ways to make their workplace safer, they focus
on challenging work’ers claim of injuries and pushing them to re-
turn to work sooner
-workers can be exploited easily if they dont know their
rights and lack knowledge of health hazards in the work-
place.
-stress is frequently rejected as a legitimate concern by worker’s compensation boards
who administer claims.
-only use narrow definitions of health and illness, mainly physical injuries and fa-
talities.
WORK AND ALIENATION
-alienation is defined as the human condition resulting from an absence of fulfilling
work.
KARL MARX AND ALIENATING WORK WITH CAPITALISM
-word alienate refers to an act of separation, or to the transfer of something to a new
owner.
-marx described alienation to the overall experience of work under effects of
capitalist production relations in working class.
-sources of alienation
-‘structural perspective’
-product
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