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Is there a link between Workplace Health and Safety and Firm Performance and Productivity?


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Research on the connection between occupational health and safety (OHS) and increasing employee productivity and performance has become topical as a result of increased interest in identity ways to improve 'performance' in the workplace. Occupational health and safety academics have also recognised the social benefits of introducing improved health and safety standards. However, there is debate as to whether or not introducing improvements can actually increase measurable economic benefits. While most of the research has been located overseas, there is, unfortunately, little empirical New Zealand-based research in this area. Recently efforts have been made by the New Zealand Government and in particular the Department of Labour to remedy this situation and to fund research that examines the possible links between OHS interventions and firm performance and productivity as well as understand why firms implemented OHS practices within the New Zealand context. As part of this research, a comprehensive literature review on the topic was undertaken and it is this review that is the focus of the paper.
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Felicity Lamm1, Claire Massey2, Martin Perry3
1. The University of Auckland, New Zealand
2. Massey University, New Zealand
3. Massey University, New Zealand
Research on the connection between occupational health and safety (OHS) and
increasing employee productivity and performance has become topical as a result of
increased interest in identity ways to improve ‘performance’ in the workplace.
Occupational health and safety academics have also recognised the social benefits of
introducing improved health and safety standards. However, there is debate as to
whether or not introducing improvements can actually increase measurable economic
benefits. While most of the research has been located overseas, there is,
unfortunately, little empirical New Zealand-based research in this area. Recently
efforts have been made by the New Zealand Government and in particular the
Department of Labour to remedy this situation and to fund research that examines
the possible links between OHS interventions and firm performance and productivity
as well as understand why firms implemented OHS practices within the New Zealand
context. As part of this research, a comprehensive literature review on the topic was
undertaken and it is this review that is the focus of the paper.
There is increasing and compelling overseas evidence that providing a healthy and
safe working environment has the potential to increase labour productivity and in
turn increase company profits. However, the New Zealand research on the links
between OHS interventions and firm performance and productivity (and the
subsequent tangible gains) is still largely undeveloped. In an attempt to redress this
situation, the Department of Labour sponsored a study in which the aims were to: a)
investigate the possible links between OHS interventions and firm performance and
productivity; and b) understand why firms implemented OHS practices within the
New Zealand context. The starting point for the project was a literature search to
identify the most relevant material on the links between workplace health and safety
and firm performance and productivity. It is the highlights of this extensive literature
review that will be the focus of the paper.
The literature specific to the topic, however, is not easy to locate and is difficult to
draw upon. Instead, it is dispersed among multiple disciplines, such as ergonomics
(e.g. Oxenburgh, 1991; MacLeod, 1995), health economics (e.g. Grozdanovic, 2001;
Lofland, Pizzi & Frick, 2004), environmental medicine (e.g. Burton, et al, 1999;
Goetzel, et al, 2001), sociology (e.g. Green, 1994; Hopkins, 1994) and law and
economics (e.g. Hawkins, 1989; Gunningham & Johnstone, 1999; Dorman; 2000;
Viscusi, 2004). In addition, the empirical research is often restricted by a predilection
for a particular discipline. There is little interface between these disciplines, and
differences also exist between methods and endpoints of research that draws upon a
singular (rather than a multi-disciplinary) approach. The more advanced literature,
however, acknowledges not only the complexities of trying to establish a connection
between OHS and increasing productivity and performance but also stresses the
point that it is more useful to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to the topic (e.g.
Bohle & Quinlan, 2000; Shearn, 2003;De Greef & Van den Broek, 2004; Frick, et al,
2000, 2004).
Investigating this area is also not a straightforward task as the relationship between
business performance and productivity and OHS interventions aimed at reducing
illness and injury is strongly contested. On one side, there is the view that good
health and safety practices are good for business and productivity, while on the other
side, there is the view that OHS interventions are costly and interrupt the flow of
work activity, and that regulations impose a non-productive investment (Shearn,
2003; De Greef & Van den Broek, 2004).
The central purpose of the literature review is to critique the extant overseas and
New Zealand research on the links between workplace health and safety and
business performance and productivity. Key themes that underpin the literature
review are:
1. What does the current literature say about the links between workplace
health and safety and company performance and productivity?
2. What are the key issues surrounding implementing OHS measures to increase
productivity? In particular, who benefits from increases in productivity; how
to evaluate OHS measures and increased productivity; and how to evaluate
the economic benefits?
The Literature on Links between Workplace OHS and
Company Performance and Productivity
Attempts to link improved OHS practices and policies with improved firm productivity
and performance have been driven not only by state agencies,1 but also trade unions
and the more enlightened employers. Increasingly enlightened employers, together
with trade unions, are striving to provide safer and healthier workplaces which can
translate into increased productivity, more job satisfaction, and stronger bottom-line
results (Brandt-Rauf, 2001; Occupational & Environmental Health Foundation
(OEHF), 2004; Boles, et al., 2004; De Greef & Van den Broek, 20042).
1 Recently the Department of Labour, for example, has been actively supporting collaborative research to
improving New Zealand’s productivity (
2 As part of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, (2004) mandate, Marc De Greef and
Karla Van den Broek (2004) were engaged to undertake a comprehensive investigation into the link
between a good working environment and productivity across the European States. The aim of the study
Those concerned with workplace illness and injury are also endeavouring to quantify
how the overall health and safety of an employee affects their ability to work
productively (Goetzel & Ozminkowski, 2000; Bunn, et. al. 2001; OEHF, 2004). More
precisely, the drive to link productivity with OHS outcomes is underpinned by four
core reasons:
1. The need to find more innovative ways to reduce the high rates of workplace
injury and illness than has previously been the case.
2. The pressure to reduce the social and economic costs of injury and illness,
particularly compensation costs.
3. The need to improve labour productivity which does not result in employees
working longer hours and taking on more work.
4. The need to provide good working conditions as a way of recruiting and
retaining skilled workers in a tight labour market.
This drive to link OHS and company productivity has in the past decade stimulated
academic research where rigorous, empirical evidence had previously been slow to
materialise. The most sustained and notable examples in this area have taken place
within the discipline of ergonomics (e.g. Sanders & McCormick; 1987; Simpson,
1990; Oxenburgh, 1991; MacLeod 1995; Frick, 1997; Shikdar & Sawaqed, 2003;
Lahiri, et al 2005). MacLeod (1995:19) provides some insight into the reasons why
ergonomists have been more active in this area and why they have been more
successful in engaging with the business community over the links between OHS and
productivity than professionals in other fields of OHS:
“Improving the fit between humans and tools inherently means a more
effective match. Good ergonomic improvements often result in better ways of
performing a task. An ergonomically designed workplace (or product) is a
more productive workplace (or product). Not exceeding human capabilities
does not mean reducing output or doing less. On the contrary, good design
permits more output with less human effort.”
The other discipline that dominates the research on the links between OHS and
workplace productivity is occupational medicine/health promotion3. In particular,
many of the studies on OHS and productivity have been generated by the following
organisations within this discipline:
The Occupational & Environmental Health Foundation (OEHF), which was
established in 2002 by members of the American College of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine as an independent entity to promote and protect the
health of workers through preventive services, clinical care, research and
educational programs (
The Institute for Health and Productivity Management, which is an American-
based Institute created in 1997 with the sole purpose of investigating the link
between employee health and enhanced business performance
was to gain a better understanding of positive effects of a good working environment that would support
the implementation of effective health and safety policy at company level.
3 The level of attention in this area by medicine/health promotion researchers can be seen in the Journal
of Environmental Medicine’s special issue, January, 2001, 43(1).
Health Enhancement Research Organisation (HERO), which is a national,
research oriented, not-for-profit, coalition of organisations with common
interests in health promotion, disease management, and health-related
productivity research. Established in 1996, its primary concern is on
prevention and a more healthy and productive population (http://www.the-
Cochrane Collaboration4 is an international organisation of academics that
provide current reviews on OHS research as well as fostering investigations
into prevention and intervention programmes that will enhance the well-being
of workers and assist employers to provide good working environments
(Verbeek, Hale & Ker, 2006).
The central tenet that runs through almost all of the occupational medicine/health
promotion literature is that:
“…human performance is higher when people are physically and emotionally
able to work and have a desire to work. Higher levels of human performance
lead to higher levels of productivity, which in turn can lead to higher profits.”
(O’Donnell, 2000: 215)
Located within the occupational medicine/health promotion discipline, O’Donnell’s
(2000) conceptual model of human performance exemplifies this belief in which he
attempts to illustrate the linkages between health and safety, productivity and
profits, as outlined in Figure 1. Health and safety prevention and intervention
programmes play a critical role in his model as these types of programmes can
improve the physical and psychological well-being of the workforce which in turn
reduces absenteeism and presenteeism. He also argues that such programmes
improve the organisational climate, which enhances employees’ desire to work and
directly raises human performance. He asserts that improved organisational climate,
morale, and employment relationships as well as higher profits have the potential to
reduce the health and safety risks – in essence it is a “catch-22” situation. However,
as laudable as O’Donnell’s (2000) sentiments are, others argue that the research on
the relationship between safety climate and organisational climate is still in its
infancy and will require a thorough investigation of the relationship between safety
climate and safety culture (Guldenmund, 2000; Glendon & Stanton, 2000; Neal, et
al, 2000; Smallman & John, 2001; Silva, 20045).
Taking O’Donnell’s (2000) premise one step further, Riedel et al (2001), argue that
reducing health and safety compensation costs has traditionally been the sole focus
of employers. Riedel et al (2001), however, note that employers are beginning to
recognise that employee wellbeing and corporate high performance “…emphatically
go together”. They continue:
“Greater gains may be experienced through the direct influence of positive
worker health on individual or group productivity, improved quality of goods
and services, greater creativity and innovation, enhanced resilience and
increased intelligent capacity.” Riedel et al (2001:167)
4 The Cochrane Collaboration project also investigates the prevention and treatment of occupational
injuries (
5 Refer to Silva, et al, (2004) for an extensive comparative discussion on the differences and similarities
between the concepts of organisational climate and safety climate.
Figure 1: Linking Health, Productivity & Profit
Health Risks
Substance Abuse
Controllable Diseases
Physical & Emotional
Ability to Work
Desire to Work
Disease Management
Health Promotion
Employee Assistance
Organisation Climate
Human Performance
Source: O’Donnell, (2000)
The model developed by Riedel et al (2001:168) outlined in Figure 2, illustrates how
improved worker health and safety has the potential to increased performance with
resulting effects on short-term and long-term productivity for the company, although
they also acknowledge that there is a need for more empirical evidence.
Figure 2: Pathways to productivity
Source: Riedel, et al. (2001)
Issues surrounding implementing OHS measures to
increase productivity
As stated earlier, the topic on OHS relationship between business performance and
productivity and OHS interventions aimed at reducing illness and injury is strongly
contested. At the heart of this debate are three main issues, namely:
1. Who benefits from increases in productivity?
2. How to evaluate OHS measures and increased productivity?
3. How to evaluate the economic benefits?
Who benefits from productivity gains?
There is an inherent tension within this literature that cannot easily be resolved.
Some commentators argue that productivity gains are often at the expense of
workers’ health and safety. Business typically strive to become more productive and
in doing so are driving their workers to work longer, harder and more efficiently,
often in extremely hazardous conditions and only implement OHS measures to keep
compensation costs down (Mayhew & Quinlan, 1999; Dorman, 2000; Quinlan, 2001).
Over the past decade New Zealanders are spending more time at work than many
other industrialised countries (Rasmussen & Lamm, 2002) and as a result work-
related stress and fatigue have become major issues. In short, implementing
measures, including OHS, to increase productivity may create the opposite affect, as
Goetzel, et al (2001:211) notes:
“Instead of feeling empowered, [workers] may feel … uncomfortable about
their new job demands…They may experience increased stress, more worry
about their job tenure, heightened feelings of detachment, and diminishing
motivation to perform at peak performance…Low morale and poor attitudes
about work can become contagious and infect fellow workers, further
exacerbating individual productivity and bring about increased turnover and
general organisational malaise.”
Based on his recent study, James (2006) also observes that while exposure to
hazards associated with machinery and manual handling are being reduced; other
risks associated with increases in labour productivity are on the rise. He continues:
“The fact that over half of these new cases of work-related ill-health stem
from … stress, depression and anxiety, and musculoskeletal disorders, also
raises an important issue of policy, particularly when account is taken of the
further fact that, against a background of increasing work intensity and
declining worker discretion, the prevalence rate for stress and related
conditions has recently grown substantially… It also further suggests, given
the way in which these conditions are intimately connected to workload levels
and the nature of work tasks, that the achievement of reductions of this type
will require employers to be placed under much greater pressure to design
work tasks and establish workloads that are not detrimental to worker
health.” (James, 2006:11)
Thus, it would appear that efforts to increase productivity through OHS can have
contradictory results.
How to evaluate OHS measures to increase productivity?
There is a plethora of OHS articles (both popular and scientific) spanning decades
which are almost entirely concerned with inventing and promulgating OHS
prevention and intervention programmes, with little scrutiny of the efficacy of such
programmes (Smallman and John, 2001). As Shannon, et al (1999:161) rightly
notes: “…many interventions in occupational safety are implemented with the sincere
hope that they will work, but with a lack of solid evidence of their effectiveness [and]
can sometimes make the situation worse”. They argue that before we can properly
assess the impact of health and safety preventions/interventions on workplace
productivity, it is necessary to first judge each prevention or intervention programme
against a set of criteria (Shannon, et al. 1999: 163).
Further, as more attention is given to scrutinising the efficacy of health and safety
programmes, more substantial links are being made between the implementation of
health and safety programmes and their beneficial impact on a firm’s productivity. To
date the research leans towards the acceptance that introducing health and safety
measures will have both direct (e.g. reduced insurance and workers’ compensation
premiums) and indirect benefits (e.g., reduced staff turnover) including raising the
level of productivity (Oxenburgh, 1991; Bottomley, 1994; Archer, 1994; Frick et al,
2000; Goetzel, 2001; Shearn, 2003; De Greef & Van den Broek 2004).
However, it is important to understand the various means in which data can be
collected – namely: self-reporting, archival sources, or mixed methods. Evans (2004)
warns that measuring increases in productivity is demanding and fraught with
difficulties. In particular, while self-reporting may be valuable when there is no other
suitable source of data or when the data is too costly to obtain, it is nonetheless
based on the subjective reporting of the employer or employee. In terms of validity,
archival data is the preferred source, however, not all employers collect archival data
and frequently the data is limited to a sample (Evans, 2004).
There is also a need to clarify the various measurement tools available to assess the
impact of health and safety on productivity, including absenteeism, presenteeism,
short- or long-term disability, as well as defining the increments and gains in health
and safety related productivity interventions (OEHF, 2004). As Goetzel, et al
(2001:15) states:
“A first step in establishing the link between health [and safety] and
productivity is determining which baseline measures are central, germane,
and likely to be broadly accepted by the employer community.”
At the heart of this discourse is the identification of basic metrics that can be used as
national and international benchmarks for assessing health and safety related
productivity (HSRP) and for the quantification of the fiscal impact of health and
safety on the firms bottom line (OEHF, 2004; Ozminkowski, et al, 2004; Lofland, et
al, 2004). One of the beneficial outcomes of this research is to provide senior
managers with measurement tools to better understand the full cost burden of illness
and injury within their own firms and to better understand the value of health and
safety prevention/intervention strategies.
In addition, each method of measurement has its strengths and its limitations and
there have been a number of useful critiques in this area undertaken by Riedel, et al.
(2001); Lofland, et al. (2004), Ozminkowski, et al. (2004) and Evans, (2004). The
criteria used by these authors to critique the various methods were: their reliability,
validity, productivity metrics, instrument scoring technique, suitability for direct
translation into a monetary figure, number of items, modes of administration and the
disease states in which it had been tested. Also Riedel, et al.’s (2001) study
organised and synthesised the literature on disease prevention and health promotion
with reference to increasing business productivity into three categories:
early detection of a condition;
behaviour change programmes to reduce the risk; and
care-seeking support to reduce the unnecessary use of care.
Although these attempts to scrutinize how best to evaluate OHS measures to
increase productivity are useful, this inquiry is still evolving and requires more
How to evaluate the economic benefits?
One of the primary drivers for introducing OHS interventions is the resultant
economic benefits. More specifically, there is recognition that productivity drives
economic growth and profits. Better management of worker health and safety and
related productivity outcomes may create a competitive business advantage
(Sullivan 2004:S56). The literature also suggests that managers are more likely to
make a decision to implement health and safety measures in order to increase
productivity based on the knowledge that there are economic benefits (Dorman,
2000; Grozdanović, 2001; Koningsveld, 2005).
However, Amador-Rodezno (2005) cautions, that it is not easy to convince
employers of the economic benefits of OHS as typically they will underestimate the
cost of the OHS problem while overestimating the costs associated with its remedy.
Also establishing the cause-effect relation is not straightforward (William, et. al.,
1997; Amador-Rodezno, 2005). This difficulty is complicated by the fact that in many
instances several initiatives will be implemented at the same time (not only health
and safety actions but also human resource actions), which makes it difficult to link a
specific initiative to a specific outcome(s) (i.e. increased productivity = profits)
(Bergström, 2005).
Nonetheless, there are a number of ways to estimate the cost of an OHS
intervention6. The two most prominent ones are: the insurance model and the cost
benefit analysis model.
6 For a comprehensive overview of six different tools to evaluate the economic benefits of OHS
interventions refer to Biddle, et. al. (2005) `Synthesis and Recommendations of the Economic Evaluation
of OHS Interventions at the Company Level Conference’. Journal of Safety Research 36: 261-267.
The insurance model uses workers’ compensation insurance information to provide
an estimate of the costs of OHS interventions. Although this approach has the
advantage of simplicity in that it is reliant on only one source of information, it is
also limited (Cutler & James, 1994). As Oxenburgh and Marlow (2005:210) note:
“It does not measure, for example, productivity losses and employee turnover
and thus may seriously underestimate the total costs of injury absence. As it
may underestimate the total injury costs it will likewise underestimate the
potential savings from investment in avoidance of these costs…[It] will not
provide an incentive for small organisations with no history of injuries to
implement occupational health and safety improvements.”
The cost benefit analysis model requires more data than the insurance model in that
it measures all significant employment and production factors and therefore, it
provides a more comprehensive picture. That is, it assesses the total costs of
employment and the losses due to workplace injury or illness (Oxenburgh & Marlow,
2005). Because it is specific to the organisation, it is a better reflection of the actual
economic benefits. According to Lahiri, et. al. (2005: 242) there are four elements
within the framework:
1. The cost of the equipment and labour of the intervention enters the cost
equation as a positive component;
2. The degree of effectiveness of the interventions essentially determines the
value of the avoidable costs of injuries and illnesses;
3. The increase in productivity results principally from the technological design
of the equipment; and
4. The displacement of workers that might result from an increase in
productivity of the intervention.
Lahiri, et al. (2005: 242) continue:
“While both the second and third component enter the accounting equation as
negative expressions and help to reduce the real cost of the intervention, the
cost of retraining for displaced workers enters the equation as a positive cost
from the societal point of view”.
Oxenburgh & Marlow (2005:211)7 add that in order to determine whether or not
there have been economic benefits as a result of an OHS intervention, it is necessary
to gather data on the direct and indirect costs from a range of sources – namely:
Employee Data: this includes the number of employees, their working time and
wages, overtime, training and production costs;
Workplace Data: this includes supervisory costs, recruitment, insurance, and
other general overheads, maintenance, waste, and energy use; and
Intervention Data: this relates to the costs associated with the intervention, for
example, consultants’ fees, disruptions, errors, etc.
7 Oxenburgh (1991) and Oxenburgh & Marlow (2005) elaborate further on assessing the productivity
increases as a result of OHS interventions in their software Increasing Productivity & Profit through Health
& Safety (Product Ability, 2004).
The data categories are intended to answer the question: “has optimal productivity
been achieved?” If the answer is “no”, then the next questions are asked: “why” and
“what can be done?” Oxenburgh and Marlow (2005) suggest that there may be a
number of reasons for a lower than optimum productivity, for example, an ill-
conceived timeframe. Oxenburgh & Marlow (2005:3) also argue that it is important
to ensure that productivity data is relevant to the OHS intervention and include both
quantitative and qualitative data. They warn, however, that ascertaining the
economic and productivity gains as a result of an OHS intervention can be difficult
and necessitates resources being allocated. For small businesses, in particular,
undertaking this exercise could be problematic as there may be a lack of resources
and expertise as well as poor record keeping.
There is increasing and compelling evidence that providing a healthy and safe
working environment has the potential to increase labour productivity and in turn
increase business profits. There are, however, a number of issues that cannot be
overlooked, for example, what are the negative outcomes, how best to evaluate OHS
measures in terms of increased productivity and are there economic benefits? It is
also evident that there are certain necessary ingredients required, such as a good
level of cooperation between the management and employees, to ensure the success
of an OHS intervention and the subsequent increases in productivity.
However, the review of the literature has revealed a number of key gaps:
1. First, while there are a growing number of studies indicating the benefits of
providing a healthy and safe working environment, the evidence is still
tenuous and difficult to quantify. In particular, it is not known if the benefits
are short-term or long-term. Also, while there is evidence that occupational
injuries and illnesses impact on productivity losses, it is not clear whether or
not reducing injuries and illnesses will automatically influence productivity
gains. Therefore, as the literature suggests, getting employers, particularly
those operating in the small business sector, to link health and safety
measures with tangible increases in productivity and profits could be difficult.
2. Second, the extant research is biased towards large organisations, frequently
situated in North America. This does not reflect the New Zealand business
demographics (refer to Lamm & Walters, 2004). However, there is scant New
Zealand research on the topic to rectify this imbalance.
3. Third, the literature on linking OHS with productivity is predominately
concentrated in two disciplines – namely ergonomics and occupational
medicine/health promotion. Indeed there is a danger that the topic will be
entirely captured by the health promoters with little or no acknowledgement
of how safety fits into the equation. Moreover, many of the OHS productivity
methods and measurements are almost entirely health-based. Linking safety
improvements (unless ergonomic) has been largely omitted from the
discourse. Thus, given the complex nature of OHS and productivity, it is more
useful to adopt a multidisciplinary approach (refer to Bohle and Quinlan,
4. Finally, there are also few references that make the connection between OHS
and the sociology and organisation of work and productivity. It is imperative
that OHS policy and practice and productivity gains are placed within the
context of changes in the business environment – the changes to the way we
work, changes to the legal framework, demographic changes; the impact of
globalisation, etc. That is, what is occurring in the business community is
inextricably linked to productivity and the status of occupational health and
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... There is increasing evidence that providing a healthy and safe working environment has the potential to increase labour productivity. Most businesses implement health and safety measures to keep compensation costs down (Massey & Perry, 2006). ...
... There is evidence that occupational injuries and illnesses impact on productivity losses (Lamm, Massey & Perry, 2006). Research findings on a paper on quality of the working environment and productivity in a construction company in Belgium, Germany where 102 senior managers were interviewed showed that 79% cited health and safety as currently having a great or fair amount of tangible impact upon corporate reputation and performance. ...
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Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of workers participation in implementation of safety standards in textile manufacturing companies in Kenya. Theories that anchored the study include: Heinrich domino theory, Human factor theory, behavioral based Safety theory, system theory and social exchange theory. Methods: The target population included all the 22 textile manufacturing companies in the export processing zone. This study sampled 400 respondents and adopted a descriptive cross sectional research design. Data was collected using questionnaire and key informant's interviews and coded for computerized data entry. Data analysis included descriptive and inferential analysis which were done using statistical package for social Sciences. Inferential statistics was carried out by the use of multiple regression analysis to determine the significance of the independent variable and moderating variable in respect of employee performance in textile industries in Kenya. Hypothesis testing was carried out using t-test. Result: Inferential statistical analysis revealed that there was a correlation between worker's participation and employee performance (r = 0.701). Conclusion: The study concluded that workers participation in implementation of safety standards if properly utilized contributes to improved employee performance in textile manufacturing companies in Kenya. The study recommends that textile manufacturing companies should conduct periodic safety training and awareness of safety standards among their employees. Well-structured policies should be formulated and enforced to ensure compliance among employees. It further recommended that workers should be involved in decision making of safety standards.
... A firm's efficiency is the capacity to produce or manufacture a product that meets the customer's desire. Employee productivity influences a firm's profitability, as well as its survival and growth (Lamm et al., 2007). However, safe and healthy working condition could enhance employee's job satisfaction and improve productivity (Faragher et al., 2005). ...
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The study investigated the mediating effect of job satisfaction on health and safety policy management and employee productivity in manufacturing firms in Nigeria. For the study, a quantitative analytical method was adopted, including a descriptive survey. To obtain data for the study, a questionnaire instrument was constructed and distributed among 950 sampled respondents in selected manufacturing firms in Nigeria. The descriptive statistics was deployed in the data analysis, while the multiple regression analysis was used to test the study hypotheses at the 0.05 level of significance. The mediating effect of job satisfaction on health and safety policy management and employee productivity relationship was confirmed using the Sobel test with the aid of MedGraph. The results showed that hazard prevention and control policy have a significant positive effect on employee productivity. Risk assessment policy have a significant positive effect on employee productivity. Also, job satisfaction has a significant positive mediating effect on the health and safety policy management and employee productivity relationship. Therefore, manufacturing firms should take appropriate measures to prevent and control hazards and provide effective risk assessments to improve health and safety policy management. AcknowledgmentsThe authors express gratitude to anonymous reviewers, the journal editor and all the authors whose work were used in this study. The authors are grateful to the management of manufacturing firms included in the study for having given approval for the administration of the questionnaire instrument, and the survey respondents for providing their views on the issues raised in the questionnaire instrument on health and safety policy management (hazard prevention and control policy and risk assessment policy), employee productivity and job satisfaction.
... Yesufu (1984) argues that physical conditions have a significant influence on workers' work, and when offices and factories are too hot or poorly ventilated, they degrade working capacity [2]. Job security improves the performance of work by increasing the concentration of workers, and providing a healthy and safe working environment could increase labor productivity and consequently increase business profits [3,4]. Adverse psychological working conditions give rise to lower mental health of employees. ...
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Background We hypothesized that the growing demand of Korean workers for work-life balance would change the factors influencing job satisfaction. We sought to verify our hypothesis by conducting a conjoint analysis based on the Korean Working Conditions Survey (KWCS). Methods We analyzed the raw data of the All Korean Working Conditions Survey (KWCS), conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute (OSHRI) from 2006 to 2017. To complete the analysis, we counted on a conjoint model of analysis, typically used in the analysis of customer satisfaction. The dependent variable was the satisfaction of workers with their working conditions, and the independent variables were the job quality indicators identified by Eurofound. Results The factors that have the greatest impact on working conditions satisfaction are summarized as follows. “Physical environment” for the 1st wave, “Adverse social behavior” for the 2nd wave, “Occupational status” for the 3rd and 4th wave, and “Management quality” for the 5th wave. “Earnings” were not a major factor in determining employee job satisfaction and the relative importance index is decreasing. Conclusion According to results of the analysis of the tendencies of Korean workers, the factors that affect the satisfaction with the working conditions have changed over time. It is crucial to identify factors that affect working conditions to assure the health and productivity of workers. The results of this study demonstrate that policymakers and employers are required to attentively consider human relations and social environment at work to improve working conditions in the future.
... Harris et al. (2003) have shown in their study that in order to effectively prevent and manage worker health problems, specific wellbeing management strategies and measures must be developed to congregate the occupational health needs of this group. Lamm et al. (2006) found that there was growing evidence that a healthy and safe work environment could increase labor productivity and, hence, corporate profits. Greef and Broek (2004) show that safety and health measures not only have a positive impact on the safety and health performance, but also on the productivity of the company. ...
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: In this research paper a comparative study on occupational health and safety of workers has been done for two pharmaceutical companies in and around the city of Solan in Himachal Pradesh, India. The results show that more workers have accepted that workers have been provided with appropriate procedures and instructions before completing the task. Therefore, it can be concluded that management takes it seriously that workers understand the exact course of action before carrying out the task so that it is safer for workers to carry out the operations. At the same time, some employees denied that they had proper procedures and instructions. This may be due to a lack of employee awareness. The majority of employees agreed that companies regularly follow the procedures for documenting the investigation of incident, and employees appear to be contented with this provision. Thus, it can be concluded that administration appropriately reviews each incident that occurs during the execution of the task and follows the correct documentation system to determine the real cause for the incident. It is noted that most employees have accepted that companies have followed the proper procedures for inspecting and assessing equipment hazards and that workers are satisfied with them. It can therefore be concluded that the organization has recognized the need to review and investigate the risks to facilities that exist or may exist in the facilities in order to affect workers' health.
... On the one hand, safety may increase productivity and firm performance because it has a positive impact on morale, motivation and involvement with the firm's objectives, improves the employees' perceived organizational support and their commitment to the organization, reduces absenteeism, etc., with an overall positive impact on firm performance [17,[35][36][37]. On the other hand, labour accidents trigger a set of direct costs, such as financial damage, lost time and health expenses, as well as indirect costs such as extra work required, worsening of production quality, deterioration of industrial relations, etc., with harmful effects on firm performance [38]. ...
This paper performs an empirical research and finds a negative relationship between accidents in the workplace and financial performance. The relationship is stronger and more persistent on one year ahead performance than on the current year. We find no significant evidence of curvilinear U-shaped or inverted U-shaped relationships. Results are strong across different industries and samples, variable definitions and model specifications. The study contributes to the scarce extant research with reliable data and samples of a wide span of industries. It also contributes methodologically with refined analyses of the curvilinear relationship and providing robust widespread inference for a large number of industries.
... Organisations cannot be sustainable without protecting the safety, health and welfare of their most vital resource: their workers. 62 The SDGs provide numerous opportunities to reduce the impact of occupational related injuries, for example, through efforts towards sustainable food production systems and 1247645. Protected by copyright. ...
Globally, unintentional injuries contribute significantly to disability and death. Prevention efforts have traditionally focused on individual injury mechanisms and their specific risk factors, which has resulted in slow progress in reducing the burden. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a global agenda for promoting human prosperity while respecting planetary boundaries. While injury prevention is currently only recognised in the SDG agenda via two road safety targets, the relevance of the SDGs for injury prevention is much broader. In this State of the Art Review, we illustrate how unintentional injury prevention efforts can be advanced substantially within a broad range of SDG goals and advocate for the integration of safety considerations across all sectors and stakeholders. This review uncovers injury prevention opportunities within broader global priorities such as urbanisation, population shifts, water safeguarding and corporate social responsibility. We demonstrate the relevance of injury prevention efforts to the SDG agenda beyond the health goal (SDG 3) and the two specific road safety targets (SDG 3.6 and SDG 11.2), highlighting 13 additional SDGs of relevance. We argue that all involved in injury prevention are at a critical juncture where we can continue with the status quo and expect to see more of the same, or mobilise the global community in an 'Injury Prevention in All Policies' approach.
... Meanwhile, the effect of human resource management practices on productivity was confirmed by (Pahos & Galanaki, 2018) and (Xiu, Liang, Chen, & Xu, 2017). Moreover, the effect of safety culture on productivity is confirmed by (Lamm, Massey, & Perry, 2007) and (Tappura, Sievänen, Heikkilä, Jussila, & Nenonen, 2015). The results of this study suggest several important implications for competitive advantage in the construction industry in Indonesia. ...
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This fast changing world increases competition in the business world and is linked with the increase in technology. The modern company strives to find new sustainable alternatives so that it can sustain business, especially concerning its human resources. The purpose of this study is to see whether 3 variables, namely employer branding, compensation and flexible working hours, can increase employee motivation. Employee motivation is essential so that the company's vision can be achieved. As the workforce has begun to be filled with generations of millennials it is not easy to maintain employees. From the results of this study, it was found that compensation, employer branding and flexible working hours can increase employee motivation. Of the three variables, flexible working hours have the biggest loading factor, the second is compensation, and the last is employer branding. After we know that flexible working hours can motivate employees, it is hoped that the human resources department can consider whether this can be implemented in the modern company.
... 14 Increasingly enlightened employers, together with trade unions, are striving to provide safer and healthier workplaces which can translate into increased productivity, more job satisfaction, and stronger bottom-line results. 15 Researchers concerned with workplace illnesses and injuries have endeavored to quantify how the overall health and safety of an employee affects their ability to work productively and enhance organizational performance. 16 However, some people have argued that productivity and its gains are often at the expense of workers' safety. ...
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Introduction: Occupational safety measures when put in place in organizations are expected to increase the productivity of employees and drive organizations to better performance. This study was aimed at assessing the perception of workers at the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) on the effect of implemented occupational safety measures on their individual and organizational performance. Materials and methods: The study was cross-sectional in design conducted at the WRPC, Delta state, Nigeria, among 236 workers of the WRPC selected via a simple random sampling technique across different job cadres (junior, senior, and management) in the organization. Data were collected using a semi-structured self-administered questionnaire and analyzed using the descriptive and inferential statistical tests of the SPSS version 20 with statistical significance set at P < 0.05. Results: The mean age of respondents was 43 ± 2.26 years with a male-to-female ratio of 1.8:1. More than 50% of the respondents attested that occupational safety measures had been well implemented at the WPRC. Almost all the respondents, 219 (92.8%) and 224 (94.9%), agreed that occupational safety measures in place and trainings on safety measures had improved individual worker's performance, respectively. Respondents' length of service and job cadres were significantly associated with their perceived effect of the existing occupational safety measures at the WRPC on individual worker and organizational performance (P < 0.001). They were also significantly associated with their perceived effect of the neglect of these safety measures on high labor turnover rate (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Occupational safety measures were perceived to have positively affected workers' and organizational performance.
Modern awareness of workplace hazards has created a range of safety standards and best practices now accepted and implemented in the design and construction of many types of industrial and commercial installations. Prevention through Design (PtD) concepts are well understood and commonly applied in the design of many facilities where dangerous chemicals or dangerous concentrations of energy are a required part of the process. Heightened awareness of electrical hazards over the last two decades has resulted in greater understanding of the arc flash hazard and shock hazard as well as in many methods and tools to control the associated risks. However, the PtD concepts well understood and implemented in other aspects of industrial facility design may not be well understood or are often not implemented at the design and construction stage of the electrical infrastructure within industrial or large commercial facilities. This paper will discuss the correlation between PtD and industrial accidents and how prevention through design concepts applied to electrical infrastructure can be used to improve safety and productivity in modern facilities.
[v.1]. Safeguarding the worker : job hazards and the role of the law / by Neil Gunningham (1984)--[v.2]. Smart regulation : designing environmental policy / Neil Gunningham, Peter Grabosky, with Darren Sinclair (1998)--[v.3]. Regulating workplace safety : system and sanctions / Neil Gunningham and Richard Johnstone (1999)
We describe the importance of evaluating workplace safety interventions. Based on the literature and other scources, we list eight areas for which readers can assess the quality of reports evaluating these interventions. The areas are: intervention objectives and their conceptual basis; study design; external validity; outcome measurement; use of qualitative data; threats to internal validity; statistical analysis; and study conclusions. Good quality evaluations can help avoid wasting limited time, money and effort on ineffective or even harmful interventions.
This paper reviews the literature on safety culture and safety climate. The main emphasis is on applied research customary in the social psychological or organisational psychological traditions. Although safety culture and climate are generally acknowledged to be important concepts, not much consensus has been reached on the cause, the content and the consequences of safety culture and climate in the past 20 years. Moreover, there is an overall lack of models specifying either the relationship of both concepts with safety and risk management or with safety performance. In this paper, safety culture and climate will be differentiated according to a general framework based on work by Schein (1992 Schein) on organisational culture. This framework distinguishes three levels at which organisational culture can be studied — basis assumptions, espoused values and artefacts. At the level of espoused values we find attitudes, which are equated with safety climate. The basic assumptions, however, form the core of the culture. It is argued that these basic assumptions do not have to be specifically about safety, although it is considered a good sign if they are. It is concluded that safety climate might be considered an alternative safety performance indicator and that research should focus on its scientific validity. More important, however, is the assessment of an organisation's basic assumptions, since these are assumed to be explanatory to its attitudes.