International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

The Occupational Safety and Health System in Poland During the Transition to Democracy and a Market Economy

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Since the fall of communism, the occupational health and safety system in Poland, which was extensively developed during the post-war period, has been incrementally adapting to the new social order. The reforms of the 1990s aimed at stimulating active participation by workers and labor unions, increasing the responsibility of employers, reducing the paternalistic role of the state, and strengthening the enforcement branch. The emergent system has many strengths, including a highly branched-out system of regional and local enforcement agencies, competent and self-confident government institutions familiar with the firms under their jurisdiction and adept at balancing competing social objectives; a tradition of cooperation among agencies and employers; and strong advocacy by the government agencies on behalf of workers. The system also exhibits characteristics that may weaken it in the future, such as lack of support from labor unions; low interest among workers; a generally low safety culture; stringent, often unimplementable exposure standards; and lack of “ownership” of the system by social groups other than the state bureaucracy.

Publication Title

New Solutions

Publication Date

8-1-1998

Volume

8

Issue

2

First Page

221

Last Page

242

ISSN

1048-2911

DOI

https://doi.org/10.2190/VC5G-CA39-0NKH-6UF

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