Beyond statutory enforcement - alternative approaches to improving OSH in the temporary agency sector
Underhill, Elsa and Quinlan, Michael 2011, Beyond statutory enforcement - alternative approaches to improving OSH in the temporary agency sector, Policy and practice in health and society, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 109-131.
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As with other types of flexible employment, a growing body of international research has found an association between temporary agency work and comparatively poor occupational safety and health outcomes. Temporary agency work has also been found to pose a serious challenge to regulatory regimes, including the activities of inspectors. Government agencies have responded to these challenges in a number of ways. This study examines a project undertaken in the Australian state of Queensland that sought to identify both particular problems and ways of resolving them. The focus of the project was to identify ‘non-regulatory’ solutions based on information collected through focus groups of agency and host employer representatives. However, while a number of policy interventions were identified that fitted this approach, the project also found that both agency firms and hosts believed additional regulatory controls were required. This paper assesses these findings in the context of broader research and policy debates about how to deal with the occupational safety and health problems posed by the global shift to more flexible work arrangements.
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