School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Research

a man mowing a sports pitch

Work and Health Research Centre

Organisational Benefits of Proactive Health and Safety Management (IOSH)

Research Team

Professor Cheryl Haslam
Professor Roger Haslam
Jane Ward

Funding Body

IOSH

Background

Whilst organisations seem to vary in their approach to occupational safety and health, so do the attempts to quantify its benefits, with most research to date concentrating upon the economic arguments for investing in health and safety management, and most focusing only upon one organisation, occupation or sector. In addition, few studies have examined how good health and safety practice benefits organisations across different sized organisations as well as industries, or indeed, what the benefits might be for employees beyond just working in a safe environment.

Most research to date has ignored the direct benefits for employees. Therefore, it is important to understand what the wider impact might be in terms of how employees feel about their job and their organisation, and also what the effect is upon their health and psychological well-being. Not only are these desirable primary outcomes for both employees (in terms of quality of working life) and employers (in terms of valuing employees), they may also have indirect effects on the objective organisational 'bottom line'.

This research is examining the impact of health and safety management on a range of organisational outcomes, across a variety of industries and different sized organisations. The research involves 31 organisations, comprising interviews with key stakeholders, a one-off survey of company employees and an examination of organisational level indicators such as employee turnover and accidents.

The research aims to:

Investigate and document different approaches to health and safety management across organisations varying in size, industry and sector
Examine how different approaches to health and safety management are associated with organisational performance indicators (e.g. absence, staff turnover)
Examine how different approaches to health and safety management are associated with employee outcomes (e.g. well-being, commitment, job satisfaction)
Provide case studies of organisations who conduct best practice in health and safety management, and what the benefits are, both in terms of organisational and employee outcomes
The findings of this project will help guide future advice to both health and safety practitioners and organisations about the nature and potential benefits of health and safety best practice, and inform further research into the methods of estimating the value of health and safety management in the workplace.