Narratives of Illness and Injury in the Workplace


  • Kevin Dew Department of Public Health
  • Vera Keefe-Ormsby Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Keitha Small Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences



This paper will discusses research examining workers ' responses to injury and illness in the workplace, in particular what factors would encourage or discourage workers from acknowledging signs and symptoms of illness and injury. The objective of this research was to place these responses within the context of efforts to reduce injury, the organisation of the workplace and broader social factors such as workers ' perceptions of the labour market and accident compensation. The paper is based on interviews and focus groups of workers from two workplace settings. Workers' perceptions of the working environment, and their narratives of illness and injury, will be discussed, with a focus on the concept of presenteeism and also entitlement to compensation.


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