Year Published - 2013
Hazard or Hardship uncovers an important path-not-taken in the world of workplace health and safety standards. One often thinks of occupational health and safety in technocratic, managerialist terms—that is, as a set of procedures put in place by management to protect workers from specified risks. But, as Hilgert shows, a rights-based approach to health and safety is also possible. This rests on legal protections for individual workers to refuse to perform tasks at work that they deem unsafe, without being subject to retaliation from managers.
Even in places with flexible labor markets, this particular way of de-commodifying labor has sometimes been respected.