Sustainability study shows lack of progress on standardizing injury reporting, data collection

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Park Ridge, IL – Systematic reporting of – and data collection on – work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities remains deficient at “sustainable” organizations, according to a new report from the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability.

The Need for Standardized Sustainability Reporting Practices, released Aug. 1, is a follow-up to a 2013 study that also looked at organizations in the Corporate Knights’ Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations, which was selected because of the list’s “size, institutional influence, breadth of industries represented and timeliness.”

CSHS analyzed publicly reported data from June to December 2016 and found “little improvement” in compliance with common safety and health performance indicators.

“The study found high variability on data collection methodology, reporting formats, and terms and definitions used in reporting,” CSHS states in a press release. “The results indicate that companies are still far from reaching a consensus on the workplace safety and health metrics that should be included in global sustainability indexes.”

In the report, CSHS recommends that organizations track how many of their work locations use occupational safety and health management systems and undergo independent third-party auditing. It also suggests measuring safety and health at all points in the supply chain, pointing to one organization that reported zero fatalities but had 27 in its supply chain.

“A high sustainability performance rating rings hollow if the business fails to keep its workers safe and healthy,” Kathy Seabrook, chair of the CSHS Board of Directors, said in the release. “New levels of collaboration and compromise are needed among sustainability reporting groups if we are to significantly reduce workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths.”

CSHS is an international collaboration of the American Society of Safety Engineers, American Industrial Hygiene Association, Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, and the United Kingdom’s Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

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