Safety, Productivity And The Social Relations In Production: An Empirical Study Of Worker Cooperatives
International Journal Of Sociology & Social Policy
Sociology & Anthropology
The article investigates safety, productivity and social relations in production and the significance of worker cooperatives in productivity. An interpretation of the higher rates of injury in cooperatives is that differences in injury rates are an artifact of the accident reporting practices. Injury statistics are ambiguous and inaccurate. The consensus opinion was that much of the difference was a result of contrasting reporting practices. Conventional mills apparently under-report their injury experiences, while cooperatives tend to over-report theirs. This suggests that the dissimilar social relations in the two kinds of mills produce divergent accident reporting behavior. They may also produce differences in safety conditions. Managers use techniques to reduce the number and duration of their companies' recorded injuries. One approach is to convey workers management's displeasure at having recordable injuries and workmen's compensation claims in their plants. A different management tactic is to institute incentive safety programs. Several companies also have in-house clinics which may be staffed by nurses and physicians. The study suggests there is a tendency for cooperatives to rely on hired labor as they age. All the firms studied considered the issue of workplace safety only in so far as it was financially expedient for them to do so, and they were compelled to by government regulations and worker's organizations.
Grunberg, Leon. 1986. "Safety, Productivity and the Social Relations in Production: an Empirical Study of Worker Cooperatives." International Journal Of Sociology & Social Policy 6(4): 87-102.