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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1986

Kitty Calavita

The “economic miracle” in postwar Italy was accompanied by a rapid increase in the industrial accident and illness rates. Italian workers demanded occupational safety and

Abstract

The “economic miracle” in postwar Italy was accompanied by a rapid increase in the industrial accident and illness rates. Italian workers demanded occupational safety and health enforcement mechanisms that would be more accessible to grass‐roots workers' groups and unions. In the early 1970s local “Occupational Medicine Services” were voluntarily established in many regions. The entire health care system was decentralised in 1978, giving regions exclusive authority to implement occupational safety and health standards within Local Health Units (USLs). The concrete results of these reforms are investigated and the validity of the assumptions of the calls for decentralisation. The difficulties encountered by leftist‐administered regions in attempting to translate their political commitments into significant health and safety improvements are documented. The track‐record of the USLs is examined. An ironic consequence of decentralisation has been that the concentration of all health care activities in the USL has swallowed up occupational safety and health. As a result it is less politically visible and less responsive to worker input.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 March 2022

Brian Mayer, Sabrina Helm, Melissa Barnett and Mona Arora

Essential frontline workers in the retail sector face increased exposure risks to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to frequent interactions with the general public…

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Abstract

Purpose

Essential frontline workers in the retail sector face increased exposure risks to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to frequent interactions with the general public. Often these interactions are fraught with controversies over public safety protocols. The purpose of this study is to examine the impacts of frontline workers' perceptions of workplace safety and customer misbehaviors on their stress and psychological distress to inform managing workplace health and safety during public health crises.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted an online survey of 3,344 supermarket workers in the state of Arizona (US) during the state's first COVID-19 pandemic wave in July 2020. Measures included mental health distress, and perceptions of workplace safety and customer behaviors. The authors utilized a mixed-methods approach combining multiple regression analyses with qualitative analyses of open-ended comments.

Findings

Workers reported high rates of stress and psychological distress. Increases in mental health morbidity were correlated with perceptions of being unsafe in the workplace and concerns about negative customer encounters. Qualitative analyses reveal frustration with management's efforts to reduce risks intertwined with feelings of being unsafe and vulnerable to threatening customer encounters.

Practical implications

The findings highlight the need to provide and enforce clear safety guidelines, including how to manage potential hostile customer interactions, to promote positive health workplace management during a pandemic.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to assess the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the mental health of non-health care frontline essential workers and presents novel insights regarding perceived customer misbehavior and need for management support and guidance in a public health crisis.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1992

John Harris

Aims to examine the impact of health and safety legislationemanating from the European Community and to analyse what effect, ifany, it will have on British occupational…

1282

Abstract

Aims to examine the impact of health and safety legislation emanating from the European Community and to analyse what effect, if any, it will have on British occupational health and safety law. An examination of the social action programmes shows that the pace of change has increased rapidly since the Single European Act was incorporated into the Treaty of Rome and became operative from July 1987. Because of rapid changes that are occurring on a broad front there was a need to be selective. Emphasizes to some extent, therefore, the construction industry because it would appear that European legislation is likely to have a major impact on British law and practice in this industry.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1996

Peter Fairbrother

The question of health and safety at work is a central issue for trade unions. In Britain it is an area of concern where there were important legislative initiatives in…

2590

Abstract

The question of health and safety at work is a central issue for trade unions. In Britain it is an area of concern where there were important legislative initiatives in the 1970s and 1980s, although surprisingly this has received relatively little attention in the debates about trade unionism. This neglect results in an aspect of union activity about which little is known. Explores through a detailed longitudinal study of a middle‐range engineering firm, from the late 1970s into the 1990s, the ways in which trade unions organize and act on health and safety questions. Argues that it is almost “routine” that workers face dangers and hazards at work, a central feature of the work and employment experience of most workers. However, this is often difficult to deal with as individual issues, or as matters which are subject to collective consideration. On the one hand, workers often appear to accept the dangers and hazards they face. On the other hand, managements are preoccupied with questions relating to production and finance, rather than the day‐to‐day problems faced by workers. This tension suggests that the future wellbeing of workers in unionized workplaces lies not so much with legislative provisions and rights at work, but in education and the organizing ability of workplace unions, raising and addressing what often seem like individualistic problems in collective ways.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Albert P.C. Chan, Francis K.W. Wong, Carol K.H. Hon, Arshad Ali Javed and Sainan Lyu

With increasing employment of ethnic minority (EM) workers from different nationalities to mitigate the growing demand for a construction workforce, the safety and health

1265

Abstract

Purpose

With increasing employment of ethnic minority (EM) workers from different nationalities to mitigate the growing demand for a construction workforce, the safety and health problems of these workers have become a significant concern. The purpose of this paper is to identify and rank according to severity the safety and health-related problems confronted by EM construction workers.

Design/methodology/approach

Grounded theory approach was employed to construct the main categories and subcategories of the construction safety and health problems of EM workers. A two-round Delphi survey of 18 experts, who are highly experienced in managing EM workers, was conducted to rank the relative severity of the identified safety and health problems.

Findings

A total of 14 subcategories and 4 categories of construction safety and health problems of EM workers were identified. Among the 14 subcategories, the most urgent and serious ones were insufficient safety materials and training in their native language, insufficient safety staff from EM origin, and safety communication barriers. In addition, safety and health problems at the corporate and governmental levels are also worth paying attention.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the update on the existing body of knowledge on safety and health problems encountered by EM construction workers and revelation of their peculiar situation in Hong Kong. Findings of the study will be of value to various stakeholders in formulating safety and health measures for EM construction workers.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2022

Zechen Guan, Tak Wing Yiu, Don Amila Sajeevan Samarasinghe and Ravi Reddy

The aim of this paper is to review and analyze the research literature on the health and safety issues of migrant workers in the construction industry from 2000 to 2022.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to review and analyze the research literature on the health and safety issues of migrant workers in the construction industry from 2000 to 2022.

Design/methodology/approach

5 steps method is used to conduct a systematic review to achieve the objectives. After scanning two authoritative search engines “Web of Science” and “Scope”, 60 articles are selected from 225 publications for identification and review. These identified articles are classified by research fields, countries and time span.

Findings

The review finds that with the increasing influence of migrant construction workers, the number of publications on the health and safety of migrant workers has shown a rapid upward trend. Moreover, language barriers are the most dominant safety risk factors encountered by on-site migrant workers. This systematic literature review also summarizes the definition of migrant workers and solutions to reduce safety risk factors.

Originality/value

The research data on the health and safety issues and risk factors of migrant workers in the construction industry is still limited. This literature review summarizes the research trends and contributions of the literature in this field in the past 22 years and provides theoretical support for future research on the safety management of the migration construction field.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 December 2020

Christopher Amoah and Fredrick Simpeh

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed safety measures in every industry, including the construction industry. Thus, the construction companies have instituted safety

2210

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed safety measures in every industry, including the construction industry. Thus, the construction companies have instituted safety measures at the construction sites to curve the disease’s spread among the workforce. This paper aims to examine the challenges encountered by construction firms in implementing COVID-19 safety measures at construction sites.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research approach was adopted for this study using open-ended interview questions to solicit data from 19 construction professionals currently working on a construction project in South Africa. Content analysis with the assistance of an Excel spreadsheet was used to analyse the data collected.

Findings

The findings indicate that there are numerous challenges such as ignorance of COVID-19, the supply of poor personal protective equipment (PPEs) by contractors, lack of compliance, sanitising construction materials, difficulty in sharing tools and equipment, public transport usage by workers, superstition (COVID-19 is for a particular group of people), complying with social distancing rules, among others in the implementation of the COVID-19 safety measure at the construction site to curb the spread of the disease among the workers. These challenges have, therefore, hampered their effort to strictly adhere to the safety measures in accordance with the COVID-19 safety protocol at the project sites currently under construction.

Research limitations/implications

The interviewees were construction professionals working in the South African construction industry during the COVID-19 period.

Practical implications

The implication is that, due to the challenges faced in implementing the COVID-19 safety measures, workers on the construction site are not adequately protected from contracting COVID-19. The workers may thus contract the disease at the project sites and transmit it to their families and vice versa, which may have further implications on the spread of the disease within the communities and society.

Originality/value

The study has identified implementation challenges of the COVID-19 safety measures at construction sites of which the construction stakeholders must institute measures to overcome since COVID-19 has become part of our daily life. The study also recommends some preventive measures to the owners of construction companies to help overcome or minimise these COVID-19 safety implementation hurdles to minimise the spread of the disease among the construction site workers.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management , vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Babette Bronkhorst and Brenda Vermeeren

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between organizational safety climate and organizational health performance outcomes (i.e. absenteeism…

1328

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between organizational safety climate and organizational health performance outcomes (i.e. absenteeism, presenteeism, health care utilization) mediated by individual worker health. The authors used three pathways to examine this relationship: a physical pathway starting with physical safety climate and mediated by musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), a psychosocial pathway starting with psychosocial safety climate and mediated by emotional exhaustion, and a combined pathway starting with psychosocial safety climate and mediated by both MSDs and emotional exhaustion.

Design/methodology/approach

Three mediational multilevel analyses were conducted using a sample of 8,761 employees working in 177 health care organizations.

Findings

Although the findings did not support the hypothesized physical pathway, they showed that the psychosocial pathway worked satisfactorily for two of the three health performance outcomes (absenteeism and presenteeism). The combined physical and psychosocial pathway explained differences in the third outcome: health care utilization.

Originality/value

This is one of the few studies to include both physical and psychosocial pathways that lead to employee health and organizational performance. The results underscore the importance of paying attention to psychological health and safety in the health care workplace. Not only for the psychological health of employees, but also to improve their physical health and subsequent organizational health performance.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 November 2019

Hilary Omatule Onubi, Nor'Aini Yusof and Ahmad Sanusi Hassan

This study aims to assess the impact of adopting selected green construction site practices on the health and safety performance of the construction projects. The impact…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess the impact of adopting selected green construction site practices on the health and safety performance of the construction projects. The impact of storm-water management, energy management and construction waste management on projects health and safety performance was also examined.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted to collect information from Class A contractors in Nigeria, and 168 usable responses were received. The data were analysed using the partial least squares (PLSs) structural equation modelling technique.

Findings

The findings indicate that energy management and waste management practices have significant effects on the health and safety performance of the construction projects, while storm-water management has no effect.

Practical implications

Project and site managers need to take into consideration the skill set of their workforce when attempting to adopt new innovative construction strategies the workers are unfamiliar with in a changing construction environment. There is also a need for more training of workers on generic and specific green skills to avoid health and safety challenges on site.

Originality/value

The findings of this study make significant contribution to the debate on the health and safety performance of green projects, as only a few studies have been conducted on this topic. The empirical relationships between the constructs of energy management, waste management, storm-water management and health and safety performance are unique in the context of other related studies and have advanced the body of existing knowledge.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 October 2022

Md. Kamal Uddin, Mohammad Nur Nobi and ANM Moinul Islam

The shipbreaking sector in Bangladesh has spurred extensive academic and policy debates on relations between shipbreaking industries, environmental degradation and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The shipbreaking sector in Bangladesh has spurred extensive academic and policy debates on relations between shipbreaking industries, environmental degradation and the health security of their workers. As shipbreaking is an economically significant industry in Bangladesh, it needs to implement both domestic and global mechanisms for environmental conservation and the protection of the labourers’ health from environmental risks. The purpose of this paper is to primarily explore the environmental and health security issues in shipbreaking activities in Bangladesh. It also identifies the challenges in implementing the rules and regulations for protecting the health of the workers at shipbreaking yards in Bangladesh and preserving the marine environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative paper based on secondary materials, including journal articles, books and national and international reports. It critically reviews the existing literature, rules, regulations and policing on shipbreaking with a particular focus on the environment and health security of the workers.

Findings

This paper finds that the implementation of the rules and regulations in shipbreaking in Bangladesh is complicated because of weak implementation mechanisms, political and economic interests of the yard owners, lack of coordination among different agencies, lack of adequate training and awareness among the workers and workers’ poor economic condition, which contribute to the degradation of marine and local environments and trigger health hazards among the workers. Therefore, degrading the environment and undermining occupational health and safety regulations have become regular; thus, accidental death and injury to the workers are common in this sector.

Originality/value

This paper is an important study on the issues of workers' health and safety and environmental hazards in the shipyard. It reports how the health security of the workers in shipbreaking yards in Bangladesh is vulnerable, and environmental rules are challenged. Finally, this paper frames some policy implications to safeguard the workershealth rights and the marine environment.

Details

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4902

Keywords

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