New roles for the OHS representatives - from ...

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11th International Symposium on Human Factors in Organisational Design and Management (ODAM 2014) CPH Conference

New roles for the OHS representatives - from employee representation to problem-solving
Author:Peter HASLE (Centre for Industrial Production, Aalborg University Copenhagen, Denmark)
Rikke SEIM (Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Date: 2014-08-19     Track: D - Technical sessions & workshop     Session: D5 - Workshop: Prospects for effective worker participation in occupational health and safety management

The changing role of occupational health and safety representatives (OHS reps) is studied in Danish enterprises and the results indicate that representation, and especially negotiation on behalf of colleagues, has diminished. The work environment is mainstreamed in many enterprises and it is rarely an area of conflict. The role of the OHS reps has accordingly changed to focus on solving specific problems at the workplace. Both management and colleagues consider the OHS reps as a resource that can be utilized to manage the work environment. The consequences of this development for the employees consist of both advantages and disadvantages.