Athabasca University
Open Courseware

Athabasca University
Open Courseware

Industrial Relations 308: Occupational Health and Safety is a three-credit, senior-level course that examines issues of worker health and safety (and life and death) within their political and economic contexts and in the workplace. Over the past three decades, the field of occupational health and safety has grown and developed, and an extensive amount scientific and technical knowledge on the subject has accumulated. Nevertheless, conflicts among practitioners and scholars, on even the most basic questions, still persist. These disagreements are driven by inherent differences in interest and power between workers and employers (or labour and capital, if you will), which together form the conditions of industrial relations. Scientific arguments often disguise the real debate, which concerns the value attached to preserving the life and health of workers in the workplace. Occupational health and safety cannot be examined without also considering the power dynamics that operate both within and around the job.
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