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ABS068 - Exchanging safety's value: stories of workers' survival in hazardous work environments

2.6 Dialogue and the co-construction of knowledge
Paper in a Working Group Roundtable (WGRT)
3:50 PM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (1 hour)
Convention Center - 2000 A - Table D
Daily, many workers find themselves performing their daily job responsibilities in a hostile work environment. Workers must address the continued contradictions of working safely in a culture of sustained and unaddressed safety violations. Press releases from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reveal workplace accident investigations that showed the root cause being grounded in employer-related issues. Further, OSHA and MSHA have issued repeated citations to myriad employers for previously cited violations not corrected causing increased risk of worker safety. In spite of several employers being tagged as a repeat offender, OSHA's findings, as disseminated in their news releases, illustrate how employers' negligent - sometimes repeated, willful, and serious - safety practices have led to tragic outcomes.

The study's findings showed where safety programs were by-passed for production. Workers being subjected to such environments learn to perform their daily responsibilities by navigating the hazardous terrain through the creation of a safety culture to return home safe. This is where the workers have co-constructed job practices and environment survival to increase their chances of leaving work safe and healthy. This replaces the employers' safety program from many workers perceiving the program as just "lip service."
Walden University
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