Legitimizing public health control on sites? A critical discourse analysis of the Responsibility Deal Construction Pledge

Sherratt, Fred (2015) Legitimizing public health control on sites? A critical discourse analysis of the Responsibility Deal Construction Pledge. Construction Management and Economics, 33 (5-6). pp. 444-452. ISSN 0144-6193

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/01446193.2015.1013045

Abstract

As part of a wider programme, the UK Department of Health produced a Responsibility Deal Construction Pledge, seeking organizational commitment in improving the health of its workforce. Yet commercial involvement with the health of the worker beyond the workplace is a contentious issue, a fundamental challenge to personal freedoms. The exercise of this paternalistic or pastoral power should be questioned, and consequently the agendas and interests behind it have been explored through a critical discourse analysis of the press release of the Pledge. Workers’ inability to make the ‘right’ decisions about their health was used as justification for corporate intervention to guide workers to their ‘true’ interests and the ‘right’ choices. The occupational health of individual construction workers on sites was negated for their wider contributions as a workforce to industry and the UK economy. Whilst the real interests of construction workers are likely to be served by a balance of good health and work, this should not be dictated by government, much less commercial organizations with vested interests in worker output. Concerns are raised for workers’ health and well-being in terms of their fundamental autonomy, and an increasingly controlled relationship between productive activities and power relations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: autonomy, health, positive liberty
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology
Depositing User: Ian Walker
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2018 14:15
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2018 14:15
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/702873

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