27/04/2005

Corporate Social Responsibility - a route to taking your organisation beyond compliance

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has many definitions but, in essence, it
is based on the integration of economic, social, ethical and environmental
concerns in business operations. The major social concerns include the welfare
of the key stakeholders in the business, especially employees. Thus,
occupational safety and health (OHS) forms an integral part of CSR and this is
confirmed by its inclusion in all the major measurement and reporting
guidelines and tools developed for CSR. An important aspect of CSR is that it
requires business, alongside its profit maximising function, to maximise its
positive impact on society. It therefore requires that business goes beyond
compliance.

The British Health and Safety Commission/Executive (HSC/E) is looking to
business to move beyond compliance with health and safety regulations to
continuously improve all aspects of the working environment that result in a
workforce that is 'happy, healthy and here'. It recognises that, as a result of
progress in improving occupational safety, the major challenge for the UK in
improving OHS lies in improving occupational health. Issues of occupational
health are less amenable to regulation than occupational safety. CSR is
therefore a potential valuable trend for the HSC/E to promote OHS.

A new report - Promoting health and safety as a key goal of the Corporate
Social Responsibility agenda, prepared by Technopolis Ltd and Emerging Markets
Economics Ltd and funded by the HSE, has found Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR, the integration of economic, social, ethical and environmental concerns
in business operations) to be gaining in influence, becoming mainstreamed in
the measurement and reporting of business performance.

The study upon which the report is based sought to establish what status 
occupational health and safety has on the CSR agenda, and the actions that the
HSC/E could take to raise its profile further, especially to promote
occupational health.

The view is taken that success lies where ocupational health and safety is
regarded as 'a material issue of reputational risk and business performance
and/or an important element in the interaction of the business with employees.'

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Health and safety Executive