Richard Fidler

Document Type



Government officials' laxness in enforcing Occupational Health and Safety Act standards was excused by the Labour Relations Board on the grounds that under the 'internal responsibility system' (IRS) the inspectors' primary role is not to police the workplace but to facilitate workers' cooperation with management in reducing hazards. The author argues that the IRS philosophy, borrowed from the 'equal-partner' ideology of collective bargaining law, has subverted the regulatory intent of the legislation by reinforcing worker powerlessness in the industrial hierarchy and undermining prescriptive standard setting. He criticizes the Board's reasoning and proposes measures to strengthen enforcement of the Act