Injury Compensation

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Workplace injury causes remarkable loss to individual workers, their families, the community, and society. This loss is not only physical and financial, but also psychological and emotional. The prevention and compensation of workplace injury have thus been important issues for both academia and policy-makers. The purpose of The Political Economy of Workplace Injury in Canada, written by Bob Barnetson, is to study how the Canadian government averts and compensates workplace injury, as well as who profits, and how.

The first four chapters of the book present study of government’s injury-prevention efforts. The author deduces that the current injury-prevention strategies taken by employers and government are not valuable, the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws not succeed to make workplaces more safe, and employers are able to shift costs to workers through injury.

The next three chapters of the book analyzes the compensation injury system in workplaces in Canada and reaches the conclusion that workers’ compensation does not fully reimburse workers for their injuries. Chapter five describes how workers' compensation in Canada came to be, and how it theoretically benefits the employers, workers, and the government. Chapter six discusses the inclination of workers’ compensation boards to limit benefit entitlements and therefore employer costs. Chapter seven investigates how workers’ compensation is used to deal with workers and to limit worker power. The book concludes with Chapter eight.

The Political Economy of Workplace Injury in Canada doesn’t merely tell us that workers compensation doesn’t really help workers; it tells us why it doesn’t help and, even more importantly, how come no one fixes it?

Mr. Barnetson states in his book, that in most cases, a “disturbing pattern of bias against workers emerges (Barnetson, 2010, p. 154).” Thousands of Canadian families have been thrown into poverty by system that denies them support. The Worker's...
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