Making the business case for safety and health at work
The report notes that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to use their resources wisely, and for such companies, economic arguments for improving occupational safety and health are crucial.
The publication also points out that SMEs are the backbone of Europe’s economy in that they are responsible for 67% of employment in the EU.
However, unfortunately, their workers are disproportionately likely to suffer as a result of poor occupational safety and health: 82% of occupational injuries and 90% of workplace fatalities happen in SMEs.
The Business Case for Safety and Health looks at the existing literature on cost–benefit evaluations of occupational safety and health and then presents 13 new case studies on interventions in SMEs.
In each case study, a business case is put together for the interventions, examining all the costs and benefits directly attributable to the changes made. This allows the interventions to be assessed from a purely financial point of view. The report concludes that 11 of the 13 interventions studies were profitable by the end of the 5-year period chosen for evaluation.
Overall, the report concludes that good occupational safety and health can have major financial benefits.
The report also provides a useful tool to allow owners and managers of SMEs an insight into the potential benefits of improving health and safety, as well as the key factors involved in carrying out a cost–benefit analysis.