A recent article by Mark Thompson in the International Journal of Contemporary Economics and Administrative Sciences examines the process by which occupational health and safety rules are made. “Who makes the rules? Establishing occupational health and safety regulations” considers two cases of rule-making around ergonomics.
The important aspect of Thompson’s analysis is his conclusion that OHS rule-making, while often described as an integrative process (i.e., where employers and workers cooperate to increase safety), is (at least sometimes) a distributive process (i.e., a process marked by conflicting interests). That is to say, attempting to portray OHS as above or outside of the tensions inherent in a capitalist system creates an unrealistic view of injury prevention regulation.
-- Bob Barnetson