Business case for safe, healthy and productive work released today

Safe Work Australia has released the third paper in the series on the Role of Accounting in Work Health and Safety Governance – The business case for safe, healthy and productive work. The business case for work health and safety is generally misunderstood and poorly analysed. In summary:

  • The legal requirements for work health and safety provide a clear business case for investment.
  • The limitations of financial cost-benefit analysis make it inappropriate for informing decisions as to whether or not to invest in controlling risks to he health and safety of workers, however
  • Financial (cost) analyses are likely to be useful for highlighting the most obvious and measurable work health and safety cost implications of operational and financing decisions – although to avoid misinterpretation must be accompanied by a caveat that recognises the incompleteness of estimated financial benefits. To this end, detailed research that can provide industry with guides to ratios of visible to hidden costs for various injury and illness outcomes are likely to be useful); and
  • Intervention cost analyses (as opposed to cost-benefit analyses) remain important for informing choices between equally effective risk controls.

For more information or to download the paper visit the Safe Work Australia website.

Safe Work Australia, 29 January 2015 ;http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au ;