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Electronic recycling plants: human resources and OHS management case studies

Sylvie Gravel (Faculté des sciences humaines, École des sciences de la gestion, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Canada)
Daniel Côté (Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail, Montreal, Canada)
Stéphanie Gladu (Sciences de l'environnement, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Canada)
France Labrèche (Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail, Montreal, Canada)
Sabrina Gravel (Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail, Montreal, Canada)
Bouchra Bakhiyi (Occupational and Environmental Health, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada)
Joseph Zayed (Occupational and Environmental Health, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Article publication date: 9 March 2021

Issue publication date: 22 June 2021

89

Abstract

Purpose

The electrical and electronic recycling industry is experiencing significant growth while paying no particular attention to the health and safety of recycling workers. Who are these recycling workers? How are they recruited and trained in OHS measures? This article will attempt to answer these questions.

Design/methodology/approach

As part of a toxicological study carried out on five companies, samples were taken from employees (n = 100) and their working environment. Among them, 26 workers and six managers also participated in interviews on the management of OHS preventive practices. This article presents analyses of the recruitment strategies for these workers and the management of preventive measures.

Findings

The main findings were that preventive practices vary according to the company's social mission and recruitment strategy. OHS preventive practices vary among the companies, even though the workers are similarly exposed to multiple contaminants. Precarious employment relationships put these workers in a vulnerable position.

Originality/value

Although recycling electrical and electronic equipment (e-recycling) has been an ecological and moral concern in Western societies for several decades, occupational health and safety (OHS) management in recycling plants has received little attention.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study received financial support from the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST). For the sake of anonymity, the study code will be provided for the official publication only.

Citation

Gravel, S., Côté, D., Gladu, S., Labrèche, F., Gravel, S., Bakhiyi, B. and Zayed, J. (2021), "Electronic recycling plants: human resources and OHS management case studies", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 350-367. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJWHM-06-2019-0088

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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