Occupational Health and Safety and the Poorest
WIEGO Working Paper (Social Protection) No. 20
Lund, Frances and Anna Marriott.
Occupationally related injury and illness is a major, but largely under-explored, potential source of worker vulnerability. This study investigates the impact of occupational injury and illness on poverty and uses three case studies to examine possible interventions to reduce work-related risks in capacity constrained environments.
It summarizes available data – though limited in scope, exclusionary and unreliable – on the rates of occupational injury and illness worldwide and assesses the impact of globalization on the scale of the problem. Inherent difficulties in collecting information and the limitations on reliable international comparisons are discussed.
Conceptual and measurement issues in establishing the relationship between work-related health risks and poverty are also explored. The paper also looks at the failure of mainstream regulatory mechanisms to adapt to the changing nature of work and the sources of worker vulnerability and calls for new and innovative strategies to capture the OHS responsibilities.
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