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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 5–6, pp e609–e615 | Cite as

Impact of the decision-making environment on policy responses to road worker fatality in Manitoba and Saskatchewan

  • Curt J. PankratzEmail author
Qualitative Research
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Fatal accidents often lead to policy changes. However, the existing decision-making environment is critical to policy responses. This study compares the policy responses to similar events in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The key question explores the extent to which the policy decisions in each province differ despite the similarity of the events.

METHODS: Key documents were examined. Provincial court rulings, workplace health & safety incident investigation reports, court transcripts and police reports were used to compare resulting policy changes as well as the socio-political and economic decision-making context. Relevant clauses in resulting legislation were also compared to assess the specific changes that were made in each province.

RESULTS: In each province, a young, female highway construction worker was killed. However, the provinces responded in very different ways. In Saskatchewan, the Premier called for recommendations to improve worker safety, initiating an in-depth governmental study and the development of a broad safety strategy. In Manitoba, political and social pressures shifted the decision-making environment and contributed to the rushed passing of a bill focused on traffic fine increases that resulted in record-breaking traffic fine revenue while failing to include broader safety measures.

CONCLUSION: Different decision-making contexts can lead to vastly different policy outcomes even when responding to very similar events. Key differences included time constraints, access to information and the nature of the political process invoked.

Key words

Safety accidents police workplace Manitoba Saskatchewan 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS: Les accidents mortels contribuent souvent à changer les politiques. Le milieu décisionnel existant est toutefois un élément primordial des politiques adoptées en réponse à de tels accidents. Notre étude compare les politiques adoptées au Manitoba et en Saskatchewan en réponse à des événements semblables. La question clé est de déterminer la mesure dans laquelle les décisions stratégiques de chaque province diffèrent malgré la similarité des événements qui en sont à l’origine.

MÉTHODE: Nous avons examiné des documents clés. Les décisions judiciaires provinciales, les rapports d’enquête sur les incidents de santé-sécurité au travail, les transcriptions de témoignages et les constats de police ont permis de comparer les modifications des politiques, ainsi que le contexte sociopolitique et économique de la prise de décision. Nous avons aussi comparé les dispositions pertinentes des lois résultant des décisions pour évaluer les modifications précises adoptées dans chaque province.

RÉSULTATS: Dans chacune des deux provinces, une jeune ouvrière de la construction effectuant des travaux sur la chaussée a été tuée. La réponse de chaque province a toutefois été très différente. En Saskatchewan, le premier ministre a demandé des recommandations pour améliorer la sécurité au travail, ce qui a donné lieu à une étude gouvernementale approfondie et à l’élaboration d’une vaste stratégie de sécurité. Au Manitoba, les pressions politiques et sociales ont ébranlé le milieu décisionnel et contribué à l’adoption précipitée d’un projet de loi qui a haussé les amendes pour infractions routières, ce qui a entraîné des recettes record en amendes routières, mais n’a pas élargi les mesures de sécurité.

CONCLUSION: Différents contextes décisionnels peuvent donner lieu à des politiques tout à fait différentes, même en réponse à des événements très semblables. Les différences clés étaient les contraintes de temps, l’accès à l’information et la nature du processus politique invoqué.

Mots clés

sécurité accidents police lieu de travail Manitoba Saskatchewan 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of WinnipegWinnipegCanada

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