Regulating Workplace Risks
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Regulating Workplace Risks

A Comparative Study of Inspection Regimes in Times of Change

David Walters, Richard Johnstone, Kaj Frick, Michael Quinlan, Geneviève Baril-Gingras and Annie Thébaud-Mony

It examines the implications of the shift from specification to process based regulation, in which attention has been increasingly directed to the means of managing OHS more systematically at a time in which a major restructuring of work has occurred in response to the globalised economy. These changes provide both the context and material for a wider discussion of the nature of regulation and regulatory inspection and their role in protecting the health, safety and well-being of workers in advanced market economies.
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Chapter 13: Conclusions: Ways of Understanding Regulatory Inspection of OHS Management in the Modern World of Work

David Walters, Richard Johnstone, Kaj Frick, Michael Quinlan, Geneviève Baril-Gingras and Annie Thébaud-Mony


INTRODUCTION How do we understand the significance of the processes of inspection of OHS management (OHSM) in the current world of work in advanced market economies? This chapter begins to address this question by examining our findings in the context of previous explanations of the role of regulatory inspection in health and safety at work. We do this first by briefly reconsidering accounts of the emergence of process regulation that help to explain the features of its operation we have observed in our case studies. We then turn to ways of understanding the role of regulatory inspection in this context and again examine previous accounts of its part in seeking improved OHS standards in industrialized societies. We are especially interested in accounts concerning the influence of socio-economic and political factors in shaping the policies and practices of regulatory inspectorates and we examine our own findings in the light of these understandings. We next seek a wider explanation of the impact of the restructuring of work on the controls that are in place to protect the health and well-being of workers. In particular, of course, we are interested in the impact of these processes and their economic and political drivers on the capacity of regulatory inspectorates to deliver surveillance and achieve compliance from duty-holders in relation to measures to improve OHSM. But as we pointed out in the introduction to this book, in common with previous sociological analysis in this field, we have adopted this focus as a...

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