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This chapter focuses on the socio-political context of occupational health and safety (OHS). It is about the different legal and advisory instruments; state and non-state institutions or actors; political, economic and social forces; technologies; and other factors that constitute the setting for OHS practice. Collectively, these socio-political-context elements frame, shape and regulate OHS practice. They impact on OHS risks and how they are dealt with in the workplace. The chapter begins by providing a broad overview of the socio-political context of OHS, and then examines some of its key elements in more detail. These elements are OHS regulation, industry associations and unions, Australian and international technical standards, other international instruments, and economic and social trends. The chapter concludes with an outline of the national model OHS legislation, a development in OHS regulation that is both central to and has links with many other elements of the socio-political context.
Bluff, 2012, 'Socio-political context: OHS law and regulation in Australia', Health and Safety Professionals Alliance, The Core Body of Knowledge for Generalist OHS Professionals, Safety Institute of Australia, Melbourne