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Employee Participation in Health and Safety in the Australian Steel Industry, 1935–2006


  • Raymond Markey
  • Greg Patmore


Occupational health and safety (OHS) representatives and committees are the principal form of employee participation mandated by legislation in Anglo-Saxon countries, and therefore have a strong base. However, their existence precedes legislation in some significant cases. This article undertakes a 70‐year historical analysis of the effectiveness and operations of one significant example of pre‐legislative OHS committees in an Australian steelworks. The study finds that effectiveness of the committees as a form of participation depended on a complex complementarity of variables, including relationship with unions, the nature of management commitment, the organizational industrial relations climate and the political and institutional macro environment, consistent with ‘favourable conjunctures’ theory.

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  • Raymond Markey & Greg Patmore, 2011. "Employee Participation in Health and Safety in the Australian Steel Industry, 1935–2006," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 49(1), pages 144-167, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:49:y:2011:i:1:p:144-167

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    1. Tove H. Hammer & David L. Wazeter, 1993. "Dimensions of Local Union Effectiveness," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(2), pages 302-319, January.
    2. Jack Fiorito & Paul Jarley & John Thomas Delaney, 1995. "National Union Effectiveness in Organizing: Measures and Influences," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 613-635, July.
    3. Barry Reilly & Pierella Paci & Peter Holl, 1995. "Unions, Safety Committees and Workplace Injuries," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 33(2), pages 275-288, June.
    4. Joel Rogers & Wolfgang Streeck, 1995. "Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number roge95-1.
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