HASAWAHealth And Safety At Work Act
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Provisions were made in HASAWA for issuing Health and Safety Regulations and Health and Safety Commission (HSC) Approved Codes of Practice.
Some unions were very much at the forefront in pressing for this legislation, but the majority of unions were ill-prepared for the changes indicated by HASAWA. To an important extent, the delay in producing the regulations relating to safety representatives gave unions time to develop national policies as well as to organize so as to take advantage of the legislation.
Dawson and her colleagues examined the detail of HASAWA, its origins, content and implementation.
In a set of case studies, focused on chemicals, construction and retailing, the authors explored the implications and effect of HASAWA and accompanying regulations at a local level (pp.
What Dawson and her colleagues are clear about is that the regulation of health and safety at work is based on a tension between the assumptions underpinning HASAWA that there was a "natural" identity of interests between management and workforces on safety matters and the way in which safety representation rested on some notion of trade union representation.
The first, encapsulated in HASAWA, is that of self-regulation by the participants to the health and safety relationship, in particular employers and workers, and brought together at a national level through the auspices of the state in the shape of the HSC/HSE.
The critical point in this argument is that it was not so much that HASAWA improved the legal regulation of health and safety, reflected in the declining injury rates, but that public awareness of health and safety increased, TUC health and training also increased, and the later SRSC Regulations incorporated a philosophy of trade union rights, in the context of which there was a heightening of a trade union safety conciousness (Nichols, 1996).
Before HASAWA, the focus of the legislation and activity within workplaces, particularly manufacturing and mining, was on standards and compensation for injury.
While operational staff had a formal responsibility for health and safety, under HASAWA and accompanying regulations, this was not their primary responsibility.
Five hour sessions were held every Tuesday morning, covering general safety procedures (including injury reporting), the Factories Act, HASAWA, eye protection, noise, and work methods.