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The adequacy of institutional responses to death at work: experiences of surviving families


Matthews, LR and Quinlan, M and Rawlings-Way, O and Bohle, P, The adequacy of institutional responses to death at work: experiences of surviving families, International Journal of Disability Management, 6, (1) ISSN 1833-8550 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 Cambridge University Press

DOI: doi:10.1375/jdmr.6.1.37


Over 5 thousand family members and close friends of Australian workers become survivors of sudden workplace death each year. Formal responses following the death are central to surviving families' ability to adapt, yet families' experiences of these responses are unknown. This study used in-depth interviews to explore 7 surviving family members' experiences of formal workplace death mechanisms: postdeath protocols; interactions with employers, unions, media and statutory authorities; stages of legal process including coronial inquests, prosecutions by the occupational health and safety (OHS) regulator, and civil action; and outcomes of judicial proceedings. Participants identified difficulties arising from insensitive treatment by authorities, and significant bureaucratic problems, including a lack of information, communication and support. Systematic research that fully examines families' needs and identifies organisational postdeath protocols is required to advance the management of institutional responses following workplace death and thereby improve outcomes for families.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:workplace fatalities, occupational health and safety, compensation, psychosocial aspects, rehabilitation
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Organisational behaviour
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Work and labour market
Objective Field:Employment patterns and change
UTAS Author:Bohle, P (Professor Philip Bohle)
ID Code:131419
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2019-03-18
Last Modified:2019-04-26

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