Study Finds Gaps in OSH Sustainability Reporting

A study by Center for Safety and Health Sustainability (CSHS) reveals gaps and a lack of transparency in occupational health and safety (OHS) sustainability reporting among organizations rated highly for sustainability performance. The study, “Current Practices in Occupational Health and Safety Sustainability Reporting,” also raises concerns about ranking methodology, as some corporations reported more than 10 work-related fatalities in a year, with one organization reporting 49 in the same period. The study further concludes that even when relevant information is reported, corporate OSH performance is difficult to interpret, compare and analyze due to a lack of uniformity in data collection and clarity over reporting methods and metrics.

“Our research showed, for example, that the companies surveyed used six different formulas to calculate injury rate overall and at least 15 different methods were used to define ‘a report-worthy injury or incident,’” says CSHS Chair Tom Cecich. “Current OSH sustainability reporting practices make it difficult for stakeholders and investors to understand and evaluate the extent of an organization’s commitment to OSH management.” U.K.-based CSHS Director Steve Granger concludes, “It’s hard to believe that organizations can report double-digit fatalities and still be on a list of the 100 most sustainable companies. Clearly, the methodology for rating sustainability performance must be overhauled.”

Established in 2010 through a collaborative effort of AIHA, ASSE and IOSH, CSHS is committed to ensuring the safety, health and sustainability of the global workforce. It engages safety and health partners worldwide to establish minimum standards that help reduce workplace injuries and ill health.