Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Perceptions of health hazards in the narratives of Italian migrant workers at an Australian asbestos mine (1943-1966)

Contents:

Author Info

  • Cappelletto, Francesca
  • Merler, Enzo
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This article reconstructs how workers perceived asbestos hazards, using narratives from a group of migrant workers at the crocidolite mine of Wittenoom Gorge, Western Australia. The mine employed about 7000 workers over the entire period of its operation from 1943 to 1966--relying heavily on migrant workers. The exposure to asbestos dust caused a huge number of occupational respiratory diseases in workers, leading Wittenoom later to be labelled as a modern industrial disaster. Fieldwork involved 137 interviews with Italians who had worked at Wittenoom. They constituted 18% of the mine's work-force and were employed as miners or millers between 1951 and 1966. We interviewed workers who had returned to Italy, relatives of Italian workers now deceased, and workers who had settled in Australia. The results confirm the seriousness of the occupational exposure to asbestos and the weaknesses of the health surveillance program. Although workers were given no health-related information, they felt they were at risk and left the job as soon as possible. From the early 1950s onward, some of the workers became aware of a long-term connection between work at Wittenoom and lung illnesses that required hospitalisation and caused deaths. However, up to the early 1960s, workers at the mine were led to believe that the respiratory disease spreading among them was tuberculosis.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBF-45JGXJ9-1/2/02a482f01125260a16574b6d556f3c69
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 5 (March)
    Pages: 1047-1059

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:5:p:1047-1059

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

    Order Information:
    Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

    Related research

    Keywords: Occupational hazards Mining Australia Social history Tuberculosis Memories of migration Narrative analysis;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:5:p:1047-1059. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.