Workplace injuries happen every day and can profoundly affect workers, their families, and the communities in which they live. This textbook is for workers and students looking for an introduction to injury prevention on the job. It offers an extensive overview of central occupational health and safety (OHS) concepts and practices and provides practical suggestions for health and safety advocacy. Foster and Barnetson bring the field into the twenty-first century by including discussions of how precarious employment, gender, and ill-health can be better handled in Canadian OHS.
Although they address the gendered and racialized dimensions of new work processes and structures in contemporary workplaces, Foster and Barnetson contend that the practice of occupational health and safety can only be understood if we acknowledge that workers and employers have conflicting interests. Who identifies what workplace hazards should be controlled is therefore a product of the broader political economy of employment and one that should be well understood by those working in the field.
Jason Foster is assistant professor of human resources and labour relations at Athabasca University. He is the author of a number of articles examining health and safety issues. He was previously the Director of Policy Analysis at the Alberta Federation of Labour where he spent more than a decade as an occupational healthy and safety practitioner, advocate, and educator. His other research interests include migrant workers, union renewal, and the contemporary labour movement. Bob Barnetson is a professor of labour relations at Athabasca University. He is the author of The Political Economy of Workplace Injury in Canada (2010) and co-editor of Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustice and Activism (2016). His research focuses on the political economy of workplace injuries, with particular attention to child, migrant, and farm workers. Bob previously worked for a trade union, the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board, the Alberta Labour Relations Board, and Alberta Employment and Immigration.