A New Perspective on Work – Rising to the Challenges with WHS in the delivery and ride sharing Gig Economy

19 May 2021
11:30 - 12:10

A New Perspective on Work – Rising to the Challenges with WHS in the delivery and ride sharing Gig Economy

This presentation provides an overview of the health and safety knowledge and outcomes experienced by delivery and ridesharing workers. It concludes with recommendations on what we should do now to improve the management of related issues of driver distraction, fatigue, psychosocial harm, dangerous weather conditions, and mobile phone use (Christie & Ward, 2018).

Some estimates predict that up to 50% of a workforce will derive earnings from gig economy employment.  This group experience uncertainties in employment and concerns on health and safety (Calton et al. 2017). The presentation addresses, the critical aspects to a workers’ health and safety workplace experience, along with a unique set of business circumstances that stands to confound them (Bajwa et al. 2018).

Supported by a systematic literature review, it was found that younger workers made up a significant demographic portion of the delivery and ridesharing workforce, placing them at a heightened risk by their age and the activity of road use (Berger et al. 2019). It was also found that the concept of a gig economy, and its many pseudonyms, hides labour exploitation and other WHS hazards, along with a power inequity that diminishes worker representation, and places corporations beyond regulatory reach (Howard, 2017). This group of workers provide WHS professionals with a unique new set of challenges, highlighted by the results of this review.

This presentation addresses the key issues, and complexities found with delivery and ridesharing work and provides recommendations for OHS professionals from the preliminary findings of the research.