RR504 - Six SME case studies that demonstrate the business benefit of effective management of occupational health and safety
This report describes the research undertaken to provide information on the business benefits of
health and safety initiatives within six SME organisations. A further part of the work was to develop
case study material presenting the salient points of the case studies which can be used to persuade
SMEs of the wider potential benefits of improving health and safety. This material will be published
by HSC separately on the HSE website.
The key finding of the research is that in each of the cases described, whatever the original
motivation, the organisations believed that improving health and safety was integral to business risk
management. The organisations were motivated to improve aspects of health and safety because of
the potential risk to the business if this was not addressed. These benefits included a mix of both
tangible and intangible benefits, such as maintenance of reputation, client requirements, controlling
insurance premium costs, reduction in absence rates as well as general improvements in health and
Common to other research experience, it was also found that SMEs rarely systematically or
comprehensively track the costs and benefits of undertaking a particular initiative, particularly where
health and safety is integral to management.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents,
including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily
reflect HSE policy.
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