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140 Monthly Lab. Rev. 1 (2017)

handle is hein.journals/month140 and id is 1 raw text is: 

MO                HL~Y


January 2017


Rethinking the right to refuse hazardous work

Hazard or Hardship: Crafting Global Norms on the Right
to Refuse Unsafe Work. By Jeffrey Hilgert. Ithaca, NY: ILR
Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press, 2013, 207
pp., $45.00 hardcover.

Today, approximately 2 million workers around the world
succumb  to work-related fatalities and another 270 million
suffer nonfatal work-related accidents every year. Many
such workers have simply been ignored or even lost their
jobs because they acted out or spoke up in the presence
of a hazardous work environment. It is important for all
workers to feel safe while on the job, as well as feeling
protected by international guidelines to refuse work that
they are not comfortable executing. Employer-to-
employee  communication and the global standards for
refusing unsafe work are vital in the pursuit of creating the
most productive and efficient global economy.


In his book Hazard or Hardship: Crafting Global Norms on
the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work, Jeffrey Hilgert makes a
persuasive argument against the current legal framework
regarding the right to refuse unsafe work around the world
today. The book explores why some refusal rights are not
well protected, and the author tells the story through real
human  experiences. He explains the consequences of
work refusals, the rationale behind the protection laws, the
origins and effectiveness of the current legal framework,
and the alternatives that could be put in its place.


Samuel P. Kissinger


Samuel P. Kissinger is an economist in the


The biggest and most contentious challenges faced in  UI Compensation and VVUkiII
crafting global norms to refuse unsafe work pertain to  Conditions,  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
defining precisely what a hazard is and specifying who
gets to decide how dangerous the work truly is.
Employees' understanding of hazardous work differs from
the understanding of their employers, as well as from that of policymakers and judges. Hilgert is under the
impression that the right to refuse unsafe work should be considered a basic and fundamental human right

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