Research Output

Self-regulation of health and safety in a local authority with particular reference to safety representatives, supervisors and safety committees.

  The Report of the Robens Committee (1972), the Health and
Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Safety Representatives and
Safety Committees Regulations (1977) provide the framework
within which this study of certain aspects of health and safety
is carried out. The philosophy of self-regulation is considered
and its development is set within an historical and an industrial relations perspective.
The research uses a case study approach to examine the effectiveness of self-regulation in health and safety in a public
sector organisation. Within this approach, methodological
triangulation employs the techniques of interviews, questionnaires, observation and documentary analysis.
The work is based in four departments of a Scottish Local
Authority and particular attention is given to three of the main
'agents' of self-regulation - safety representatives, supervisors
and safety committees and their interactions, strategies and
effectiveness. A behavioural approach is taken in considering
the attitudes, values, motives and interactions of safety
representatives and management. Major internal and external factors, which interact and
which influence the effectiveness of joint self-regulation of health
and safety, are identified. It is emphasised that an organisation
cannot be studied without consideration of the context within which it operates both locally and in the wider environment. One of these factors, organisational structure, is described as bureaucratic and the model of a Representative Bureaucracy described by Gouldner (1954) is compared with findings from the present study.
An attempt is made to ascertain how closely the Local Authority fits Gouldner's model.
This research contributes both to knowledge and to theory in
the subject area by providing an in-depth study of self-regulation
in a public sector organisation, which when compared with such
studies as those of Beaumont (1980, 1981, 1982) highlights some of
the differences between the public and private sectors. Both
empirical data and hypothetical models are used to provide
description and explanation of the operation of the health and
safety system in the Local Authority.
As data were collected during a dynamic period in economic,
political and social terms, the research discusses some of the
effects of the current economic recession upon safety organisation.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    29 February 1984

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HD28 Management. Industrial Management

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    363.1 Public Safety


Levinson, A. Self-regulation of health and safety in a local authority with particular reference to safety representatives, supervisors and safety committees. (Thesis)


Health and Safety; self-regulation; public sector; Scottish Local Authority; safety representatives; supervisors; safety committees;

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