Maintaining occupational safety and health levels during the financial crisis – A conceptual model
Anyfantis, Ioannis D.
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The current financial crisis has imposed significant pressure upon the labour market and working conditions while, at the same time, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) is challenged. Crucial organizational functions such as training, new work equipment purchasing and innovation are mainly affected. Literature suggests a positive correlation between a country's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and accidents’ rate with a respective phase shift (time lag) representing the required time needed for adaptation. This paper presents a new model, based on a qualitative approach. This paper proposes a new model according to which OSH is defined by eight (8) determinants which are interacting, adapting and defining OSH's level, flexibility and strength against pressure posed by external factors like recession. In effect, this model acts as an opposing force to any pressure posed on OSH. Steady state is defined by the net's density, strength and OSH's centrality while the key for stability is National Labour Inspectorate's (NLI) position and relation with each of the stakeholders. That can be achieved either by regulatory surveillance and strong enforcement or by raising general public awareness, taking advantage of the social amplification/attenuation theories regarding risk. An additional model of risk communication across the OSH leveling determinants is proposed. The proposed models are evaluated by the use of the Greek paradigm.