Although safe and healthy working conditions are recognised as a human right, almost 2.8 million people die every year from work-related injuries and illnesses, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). This is not least a consequence of a lack of robust occupational health and safety (OH&S) management, which can put the lives of workers and their families at risk.
To address these concerns, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) launched an updated version of the widely used GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety reporting standard Tweet This!. The updated GRI OH&S standard calls for a more complete, worker-centric reporting from companies, which are now better equipped to report on both harm prevention and health promotion.
Judy Kuszewski, Chair of the Global Sustainability Standards Board, said: “We saw that there was a need for a rigorous methodology for measuring OH&S performance, based on leading rather than lagging indicators. The Global Sustainability Standards Board set out to create a world-class reporting standard that emphasizes measures that prevent injuries and ill health, aligned with key instruments and with the latest trends in OH&S management.”
GRI-403 covers a wide range of workers, beyond the traditional idea of employees on a payroll
The updated GRI standard puts the worker at the centre. It covers a wide range of workers, beyond the traditional idea of employees on a payroll, and offers a response to modern ways of working, such as the gig economy or the mobile workforce. The standard also focuses on worker’s recovery from work-related injuries, leaving behind measures that only focused on lost work time. The new GRI 403 standard includes disclosures on hazard identification, risk assessment, occupational health services, worker participation, and training, to protect workers from work-related injuries and ill health. In addition, to help workers lead healthier lifestyles, the standard also includes disclosures on non-occupational healthcare services and voluntary health promotion programs.
A combined effort by world-class OH&S experts
The updated GRI standard is aligned with key ILO instruments and with the newly released ISO 45001 on occupational health and safety management systems. The update was completed by a diverse group of stakeholders, who combined knowledge and experience in occupational health and safety. Thus, the Project Working Group included representatives from businesses, labor, civil society, investors and various international organisations.
According to Richard Jones, IOSH Head of Policy and Public Affairs, “standards like this, supporting transparency in operations and supply chains worldwide, can help ensure reports are meaningful and comparable and drive better health and safety performance – benefiting individuals, businesses and societies.”
80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards
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