The Political Economy of Workplace Injury in Canada
284 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Release Date:01 Jun 2010

The Political Economy of Workplace Injury in Canada

Athabasca University Press
Workplace injuries are common, avoidable, and unacceptable. The Political Economy of Workplace Injury in Canada reveals how employers and governments engage in ineffective injury prevention efforts, intervening only when necessary to maintain standard legitimacy. Barnetson sheds light on this faulty system, highlighting the way in which employers create dangerous work environments yet pour billions of dollars into compensation and treatment. Examining this dynamic clarifies the way in which production costs are passed on to workers in the form of workplace injuries.
Bob Barnetson is an assistant professor of labour relations at Athabasca University. He has worked for the Alberta Labour Relations Board, the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board, and the Alberta government.

Introduction    1


Part One. Employment Relationships in Canada    11


Part Two. Preventing Workplace Injury  27

Development of occupational health and safety in Canada  28

Canada’s OHS system today   42

Conclusion  46


Part Three. Critique of OHS in Canada   47

Recognizing injury and hazards  48

Regulating workplace hazards  59

Conclusion  85


Part Four. Political Economy of Preventing Workplace Injury  89

Why regulate ineffectively?  89

Injury in the new economy  99

Conclusion  103


Part Five. Compensation of Workplace Injury  105

Workers’ compensation in Canada  106

Injury recognition revisited  111

Conclusion  122


Part Six. Worker Benefits and Claims Management  125

Earnings-loss benefits 126

Other benefits 129

Funding workers’ compensation 135

Conclusion 143


Part Seven. Managing Workers via Injury Compensation  145

Claim adjudication and administration 147

Appeals 150

Privatization and abolishment 157

Precarious employment 167

Conclusion 171


Part Eight. Conclusion  173


Notes; Select Bibliography; Index

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