Injury information at work: The exchange and distribution of lost labour power

Date created: 
Workers’ compensation
Injury rates
Work injuries
Compensation claims
Claim rates

Workplace injury information in capitalist societies, where workers’ compensation systems (WCSs) prevail, appears as a collection of inductive indicators that measure the existence and degree of occupational health. This dissertation dissolves this form of appearance and presents an alternative view, where workplace injury information is treated as a social relation that has a history stretching back to the late nineteenth century. Situated within the field of political economy of information, this dissertation formulates the concept of injury information at work and contributes to the understanding of how it services a specific sector of the economy by constructing lost labour power for sale. It examines how injury information, as a group of signs that embody the substance of lost labour power, arose and developed, and how it fits into the capitalist mode of production. Overall, this dissertation reveals injury information as a historically social formation that operates as a class relation of exchange and distribution of lost labour power, namely, the value of the necessary means of repair, recovery and maintenance of injured wage labourers. It discloses how health protection, disease prevention and health promotion are de-prioritized with respect to the function of exchanging and distributing lost labour power.

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This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Enda Brophy
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.