08/03/2009

Occupational safety and health and economic performance in small and medium-sized enterprises: a review

The present review examines the link between Occupational Safety and Health
(OSH) and economic performance, especially as it relates to small and medium
sized enterprises (SMEs). It is essential to stress from the outset that while
there is no clear definition of economic performance, there are indicators that
can examine the concept and its importance to businesses. OSH is not usually
viewed as a contributory factor to the economic viability of an organisation.
Compliance with government guidelines, regulations and laws is generally the
primary focus of OSH policies. Perceptions of the connection between effective
OSH and the resulting financial benefits could, and should be improved. The
strong economic advantages of good occupational health practice need to be
highlighted continuously to organisations because the failure to acknowledge
the importance of this link will limit the effectiveness of interventions aimed
at preventing disease and injury. Additionally, while the cost of ensuring
safety is important, unsafety is also costly. For example, a reduction of
accidents, damage and improvements to poor health can lead to a reduction in
costs and a greater availability of people and plant. This, in turn, can
improve efficiency and thereby heighten the effectiveness of businesses.


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AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work