Student Research: Allison Crollard
Employee participation has been identified as a key element to the success of occupational health and safety programs (Barbeau et al., 2004; LaMontagne et al., 2004; Shannon et al 1996, 1997). It is thought that because workers often have a good understanding of their work and its hazards, valuable information can be gained about the type of hazards in the workplace and potential control methods by fostering their participation in health and safety activities (Gjessing et al., 1995; Khai et al., 2011). In addition, using participatory approaches may enhance worker motivation and satisfaction and lead to greater acceptance of changes in workplace (Gjessing et al., 1994). One common method for engaging workers in health and safety is through the use of joint labor-management health and safety committees (HSCs) in which worker representatives act as liaisons between the workforce and management, and members work together to identify and address health and safety issues. In several states in the U.S., including Washington, and in other countries around the world, establishing joint labor-management health and safety committees has become a regulatory requirement of employers.