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Public Companies Behind on WHS Reporting

ims-smart-devices_thumbOnly one in three public companies report injury statistics according to a new report by investment bank Citi. This startling statistic was released in a recent report into public company death and injury data.

The report, released last week shows that of a total sample of 117 companies, 88 report injuries and only 78 companies (or 66%) report injury metrics, a figure which is surprising given the very public compliance and risk obligations of publicly listed companies. 

Of the 78 companies that reported on injury statistics 50 companies reported a decline in lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) and 31 companies reported a decline in total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR).

Unfortunately 20 companies increased their LTIFR and eight companies increased their TRIFR.

Why are such a large number of public companies not keeping safety records? There is an argument that safety metrics are difficult to measure and difficult to compare across companies and industries, however the WHS industry has long standardised on the use of such measures as LTIR and LTIFR.

Most modern Safety Management Systems provide reporting functionality allowing these and many other key indicators to be tracked and analysed.

There are good reasons for a company to track its performance against WHS markers. For starters, it is a good indicator of how healthy the corporate culture is within the company.

Also a good safety record means the company is experiencing less production downtimes or factory shutdowns which can have a significant impact on a company’s share price and earnings performance. It has long been our view that safety culture has a direct and positive relationship to earnings.

More investors are taking note. For example most big fund managers are signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues as part of their analysis of companies.

The report, Safety Spotlight: ASX 100 Companies & More Injury & Fatalities Data FY05 to Sept FY13 Presented & Interpreted, says between 2005 and 2013 there were an estimated 427 fatalities among ASX 100 companies, or 523 deaths if members of the public are included.

Only in 2013 did companies such as the ASX, Bank of Queensland, Seek, Beach Energy, Carsales.com, and Cochlear start reporting WHS metrics according to the report. What statistics and KPI do you report on?

What are the numbers everyone should track?

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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