The Dr Eric Wigglesworth Memorial Lecture is an annual, not-for-profit event. In its fourth year, funds raised are being used to build the Dr Eric Wigglesworth travel scholarship.
Mind the gap? European experiences of rhetoric and reality in regulating occupational health and safety
David Walters is Professor of Work Environment and Director of the Cardiff Work Environment Research Centre (CWERC), Cardiff University. His research and writing is on various aspects of the work environment including: employee representation and consultation; the politics of health and safety; regulating and inspecting; chemical risk management; and health and safety in small firms. He is editor of the journal Policy and Practice in Health and Safety and a member of the editorial board of Safety Science. David is also Associate Director of the Seafarers’ International Research Centre at Cardiff University.
David's recent books include Regulating Workplace Risks: A Comparative Study of Inspection Regimes in Times of Change, Workplace Health and Safety: International Perspectives on Worker Representation, and Within Reach? Managing Chemical Risks in Small Enterprises.
The leitmotif of current times is ‘change’. It is omnipresent in the structure and organisation of work and the way in which business is conducted. It has consequences for the roles of employers and workers, for health and safety professionals, regulators, and even regulation itself.
Based on the findings of several recent European research projects, this presentation will consider some of the emergent challenges that change presents for OHS regulation and practice. It looks at the ways in which regulators and stakeholders respond to these challenges.
The presentation will pay special attention to the ways in which elements of emergent work and business can be used more positively to promote leverage and enhance health and safety outcomes. It will place these positive developments in the wider context of economic and political change and pose some questions concerning the gap between the rhetoric and the reality in current policy thinking around occupational health and safety.
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