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Regulating Workplace Risks

A Comparative Study of Inspection Regimes in Times of Change David Walters, Cardiff University, UK, Richard Johnstone, School of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, Kaj Frick, Malardalen University, Sweden, Michael Quinlan, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, Australia and Middlesex University, UK, Geneviève Baril-Gingras, Laval University, Québec City, Canada and Annie Thébaud-Mony, INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research), Université Paris13, Bobigny, France
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.
Extent: 400 pp
Hardback Price: £104.00 Web: £93.60
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978 0 85793 164 1
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  • Business and Management
  • Human Resource Management
Regulating Workplace Risks is a study of regulatory inspection of occupational health and safety (OHS) and its management in five countries – Australia, Canada (Québec), France, Sweden and the UK – during a time of major change.

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.

With its comparative nature and empirical studies, this book will appeal to OHS policy makers and regulators all over the world, as well as students in the field of occupational health and safety regulation internationally.
‘State of the art research into the state of the art of occupational health and safety management and inspection. Its authors provide a warts and all assessment of the possibilities and limits of regulating health and safety in an increasingly challenging environment. A must read for anyone concerned about improving workplace health and safety in the new world of work.’
– Eric Tucker, York University, Canada

‘This book, long in gestation, provides a profound analysis of the challenge to labour inspection of regulating OHS through a focus on management systems. Its detailed analysis of 5 disparate countries is a treasure trove of research, providing a rich opportunity for learning across jurisdictions. It provides a masterly dissection of the increasingly complex, competitive and pared down context of globalisation and then challenges it. Recording some successes, but more shortcomings, it is food for deep reflection by inspectorates and politicians internationally.’
– Andrew Hale, Hastam, UK and Emeritus Professor, Delft University, The Netherlands

‘Despite the complaints of neo-liberal ideologists about the “burden on business” this book argues that there is no justification for reduced regulation and regulatory surveillance of health and safety at work. Drawing on analyses of the role played by labour inspection in Australia, Sweden, Canada, France and the UK, the authors provide a timely examination of the contemporary organisational and other challenges it faces with particular reference to the inadequacy of self regulation and the rise of systematic occupational health and safety management.’
– Theo Nichols, Cardiff University, UK

‘An impressively broad and sophisticated study of a critical aspect of OHS regulation. This is the best socio-legal analysis available of the contexts, strategies and practices involved in inspection of approaches to managing health and safety in the face of change.’
– Neil Gunningham, Australian National University, Canberra
Contents: Preface Part I: Regulatory Inspection and the Management of Occupational Health and Safety: International Perspectives 1. Introduction: Inspecting Health and Safety Management and the Consequences of Restructuring in the Modern World of Work 2. Regulation of Health and Safety Management: A Developmental Perspective 3. The Development of Regulatory Inspection of Health and Safety at Work Part II: National Experiences 4. The Shift to Occupational Health and Safety Process Standards in Australia 5. Inspecting Occupational Health and Safety Process Standards in Australia 6. The Regulation of Systematic Work Environment Management in Sweden – Higher Ambitions in a Weaker Swedish Work Environment System 7. Implementing Systematic Work Environment Management in Sweden – Interpretation by SWEA and Supervision by its Labour Inspectors 8. Regulating Health and Safety Management, the Changing World of Work and Public Policy in the UK 9. Inspection of Health and Safety Management in the UK: Current Realities 10. The Québec Mandatory OHS ‘Prevention Programme’ 11. Occupational Cancer in France: A Challenge for OHS Management Part III: The Implications of Change 12. Regulatory Inspection and the Impact of Requirements for Systematic OHS Management in Five Countries 13. Conclusions: Ways of Understanding Regulatory Inspection of OHS Management in the Modern World of Work References Index