Title: Is a safer organisation a more profitable organisation?

Authors: Brenda Barrett

Addresses: Middlesex University Business School, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT, UK

Abstract: Statistics demonstrate the costs of poor working conditions. These statistics assume that achieving occupational health and safety is a cost free exercise. Thus distinctions between the cost of occupational accidents and ill health and loss of profit are blurred. The British Health and Safety Commission has launched a campaign, Revitalising Health and Safety. Its Strategy Statement of June 2000 set targets for the period up to 2010 for the reduction of workplace accidents and ill health. It claims that the annual national bill for health and safety failures is £18 billion and reducing this figure will assist high and stable levels of economic growth and employment. This paper reviews the strategies HSC sets out for achieving its targets and attempts, relying on published reports, to establish whether they will be achieved. It will also question whether improving an organisation|s health and safety record will in fact increase that organisation|s profitability.

Keywords: cost of accidents; strategy of enforcement; safety campaign; cost benefit approach; cost of safety.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.2003.003255

International Journal of Business Performance Management, 2003 Vol.5 No.2/3, pp.188 - 198

Published online: 05 Aug 2003 *

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