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Can participatory ergonomics become 'the way we do things in this firm'- The Scandinavian approach to participatory ergonomics

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Under the label 'participatory ergonomics' the idea of establishing changes in working conditions through participatory approaches has been a central issue within ergonomics. Tools and procedures have been developed and demonstrated beneficial. But how this approach can be established as the way changes are made in firms have only had limited attention. In the Scandinavian countries legislation has, through mandatory joint working environment committees, tried to establish an organizational unit promoting direct participation. Several studies have showed that the intentions of the legislators are not automatically fulfilled, and they have reviled preconditions for more successful acheivement. This opens for many supplementary regulatory strategies to improve activities in firms, but one has been in focus: establishing formalized management systems within occupational health and safety. This strategy may be contrary to the general intentions in the laws. Some of the conditions which must be taken into consideration are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1997

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