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Worker safety. A role for the court?
Ann NY Acad Sci 1989 Dec; 572:216-220
Concern was expressed that the rights of the injured employee must not become submerged in academic debate and concern for the global picture and the common good. The author contends that when a matter relating to worker safety reaches the court, it is generally an indication that one or more of those persons or organizations primarily responsible for maintaining a safe working environment have failed, a mistake has been made, a regulation has been broken, someone may have been negligent, and a human being has suffered. If the court is to play any role in dealing with employment related injuries and safety of the worker, it is necessary that the court be accessible to the injured worker and other interested parties. Historically workers' compensation legislation was enacted in response to a social need and did not initially eliminate the worker's right to go to court. However, in the United Kingdom, the courts had difficulty in accepting the concept of liability without fault, with the result that absolute jurisdiction was given to the Workers' Compensation Boards. The author indicates that the court should try to reflect the standards of society when establishing an acceptable standard of conduct.
NIOSH-Publication; Industrial-hazards; Safety-practices; Regulations; Worker-health; Industrial-safety; Legislation
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division