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Safe and Sound? The Public Value Trade-off in Worker Safety and Public Infrastructure Procurement

Charles, Michael B., Paredes-Castillo, Cinthya H., Fleming, Tim, & Brown, Kerry A. (2007) Safe and Sound? The Public Value Trade-off in Worker Safety and Public Infrastructure Procurement. In 11th International Research Symposium of Public Management (IRSPM X1), 2 – 4 April, Potsdam, Germany.

Abstract

Determining suppliers of public goods and services through ‘best value’ considerations has emerged as a viable alternative to market-based mechanisms that tended to rely on lowest cost. This type of procurement process has thereby enabled a focus on value-adding activities that may deliver innovative delivery mechanisms or services. Improved occupational health and safety (OHS) performance, through these ‘extra-market’ mechanisms, has become a salient issue in an Australian (and indeed global) industry context. In particular, the notion of selecting contractors according to their ability to deliver sound OHS outcomes has been given increasing attention in the scholarly literature and by forward-thinking clients. This approach reflects contemporary public values relating to the expectation that paid work should not involve preventable injuries or fatalities and should offer a working environment that encourages more than a minimalist approach to safety. As the internal labour market of public services is externalized and previous in-house regulations and safeguards are no longer in force, ways of achieving safe work practices through procurement regimes need to be advanced. The premise is that public infrastructure provision through private contracts should encourage safe occupational practices.

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ID Code: 9282
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Occupational Health and Safety, Infrastructure, Procurement
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Research Centres > CRC Construction Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 (please consult author)
Copyright Statement: The contents of this conference can be freely accessed online via the conference’s web page (see link).
Deposited On: 03 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 14:07

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