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Responses to Occupational Disease: The Role of Markets, Regulation, and Information

Shapiro, Sidney A.

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title
Responses to Occupational Disease: The Role of Markets, Regulation, and Information
author
Shapiro, Sidney A.
author
SCHROEDER, ELINOR P.
abstract
I begin to work in the carding-room. . . and the fluff got into my lungs and poisoned me . . . . Little bits, as fly off fro' the cotton when they are carding it. . . . Some folk have a great wheel at one end o' their carting rooms to make a draught, and carry off the dust; but that wheel costs a deal of money. . . and bring in no profit: so its but a few of the master as will put 'em up . .. . Work conditions that can produce debilitating and often fatal occupational diseases are effectively unregulated in many American workplaces. Few workers receive workers' compensation for their occupational diseases and fewer still receive tort recoveries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), mired in controversy, has adopted final regulations for only twenty-four of the hundreds of substances that may require regulation. Almost all of the reforms proposed to increase regulatory effectiveness remain unadopted. This article analyzes the role of markets, regulation, and information in the prevention of occupational disease. Part I examines the existing evidence concerning the extent of occupational disease and concludes that little is known except that there is considerable potential for epidemic outbreaks. Part II assesses the market's failure to provide additional information concerning the nature and causes of occupational disease. Part III analyzes the consequences of the lack of information about occupational disease and concludes that while there are many reasons for the failure of the labor markets and government regulation to protect workers from occupational disease, lack of information is the key element. Part IV analyzes recent attempts to force the disclosure of information held by employers in order to improve the performance of labor markets and government regulation and to increase scientific research into occupational disease. Finally, Part V discusses proposals to shift the financial consequences of risk posed by lack of information about occupational disease away from workers, where it is presently located, to employers and the public.
subject
Research Subject Categories::LAW/JURISPRUDENCE
Employment Law
Administrative Law
citation
72 (volume)
date
2016-03-18T14:18:10Z (accessioned)
2016-03-18T14:18:10Z (available)
1984 (issued)
identifier
72 Geo. L. J. 1231 1983-1984 (citation)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/58096 (uri)
language
en_US (iso)
source
Georgetown Law Journal
type
Article

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