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The world of work has undergone significant change since the days when nation-states first began addressing the issue of worker well-being. Early legal responses (such as worker compensation laws and health and safety regulations) focused on the physical environmental hazards to which workers were subjected, e.g. unsafe machinery or exposure to toxic chemicals. The transformation in the nature of work to a service-oriented economy has led many to rethink the types of hazards to which workers are exposed. Recent research has focused on the psychological and social environment in the workplace and how that may contribute to undermining worker health. This article considers the ways in which European countries and the United States are responding to this newly recognized threat to worker health.



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