Transforming working environment programmes into workplace practice

Proposer: Peter Hasle, Centre For Industrial Production, Department of Business & Management, Aalborg, (DENMARK), E-mail:

Session Type: Technical Session

Chairs: Peter Hasle, & Klaus T. Nielsen

Brief Description: Research has provided important insights into the relations between occupational hazards and health, and knowledge about prevention strategies and their expected outcome are also emerging. At the societal level this knowledge is concurrently translated into programmes aiming at safe and healthy workplaces. Examples can be Government legislation and inspection, collective agreements, infor-mation campaigns, training and education, standards with certification and audits, and various forms of soft regulation with associated incentives. The number of such programmes is large, yet, we are still lacking knowledge about what happens in the process where programmes are trans-formed into workplace practice. In most cases the theory behind the programmes work from the a priori assumption: That firms follow the rules, organise prescribed risk assessment, take an interest in searching for information and enrol in training. However, practical experience more than indicates that practice rarely works from such simple and rational assumptions. Firms and organisational practices do not follow regulation at least not in the way the legislator believed, and for instance the demands to make risk assessment is too often just carried out in order to make the firm legitimate. Research on this issue is still limited and we need to seek answers to important questions: Why and how are working environment programmes transformed into local workplace practice? And what consequences different workplace practices have for the working environment?  The aim of this stream is to organise an open space to unfold and critically discuss, how we can begin to answer these questions. We therefore invite papers from both researchers and practitioners which can provide emperical and/or theorethical pieces to the puzzle about the transformation of programmes into practice. Example could be about occupational health and safety management systems in practice, the role of working environment representatives and committees, risk assess-ment practices, how new regulation affect companies, the impact of labour inspectors on workplace practice and the role of working environment professionals in translating programmes to practice.  The stream will be organised with presentation of papers, joint reflections and a final round table discussion. Participants must expect to read and prepare reflections on other participants papers.
21 FEBRUARY 2019