In a recent article in this journal Geoffrey Stuttard argued that the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which provide for union appointed safety representatives have important implications for extending industrial democracy. The essence of this line of argument is that the subject area of workplace health and safety, which has for so long been dominated by unilateral management decision making at the individual workplace and a framework of common and statute law that has taken a highly “paternalistic” attitude towards the issue of employee and union involvement, is to become at least an area of extensive joint discussion, and possible one of joint decision making.
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