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Employee Protection in the Workplace

Employee protection and workplace safety address the question of who is responsible for ensuring that employees have protection from various dangers on the job. While employees certainly bear some responsibility for their own protection and safety, the employer may be held responsible for not only providing protective equipment and information but also ensuring that employees properly use that protection.

When the cost of workplace protections in more heavily regulated markets increases, demand for labor in less regulated, lower-cost markets may increase, resulting in potential trade-offs between cost competitiveness and worker safety.

Early Perceptions of Protection Needs

A century ago, agriculture and small-scale retail were the dominant work settings, although manufacturing was growing. Agriculture has long been a major area of inadequate worker protection, from ...

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