Personal suffering or social suffering: The experiences of workers in the industrial sector who have a permanent incapacity from work injury

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Vithaya Chaidee
Kwanchit Sasiwongsaroj

Abstract

The term “accident” has always been used, as a normalization tactic, to rationalize the view that work injuries result from individual “carelessness”. To fulfil and provide a more social perspective in this matter, this article incorporated the “social suffering” framework in investigating the issue. The article aimed to manifest the power structure in the industrial sector, which partly gives rise to workers’ suffering. After having 10 male workers recount their experiences of work injuries, the result revealed that most injuries came from medium - and small-size factories, which primarily respond to the demands of the economic push. The failure of businesses to strictly enforce safety measures, along with the government’s lack of industry supervision in this matter has put workers in perilous working environments and made them unaware of workers’ welfare system as well as labor legislation. Moreover, working overtime, which exceeds the legal limit, was a significant factor leading workers to sustain work injuries as a result of accumulated tiredness. The system of taking care of those affected by work injuries remains under the control of entrepreneurs, which has silenced the workers’ voices and put them in helpless situations.

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