Worker safety: zero harm messaging, reporting and the C-suite

Roberts, Simon Drew (2020) Worker safety: zero harm messaging, reporting and the C-suite. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Occupational health and safety (OHS) management has improved over the past 100 years. A focus on worker safety has saved lives, increased productivity and enhanced organisational reputations. Still, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that more than 7,000 people die from work-related accidents or diseases worldwide every day. In the mining industry in particular, fatalities take a heavy toll. Despite considerable efforts to improve safety in many countries, the resources sector remains one of the highest risk occupations in the world. This research uses a learning orientation lens that is one of the six characteristics of a High Reliability Organisation (Lekka, 2011) and examines the intersection of three specific areas of worker safety: (1) The impact of “Zero Harm” messaging on an organisation (where “zero” is the only acceptable number of injuries or fatalities in the workplace); (2) Zero Harm C-suite messaging to investors and shareholders as indicative of positive OHS performances as highlighted in market updates and annual reporting processes; and (3) increased interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) and reporting frameworks with a specific focus on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Standard. This research uses the explanatory sequential mixed method design to explore the overlap of these three specific areas of worker safety. The findings of the research are threefold: First, the use of Zero Harm messaging by C-suite leaders may hamper learning opportunities within an organisation. Second, investor response to Zero Harm messaging over time is not yet fully integrated into investment strategies. And third, limited improvement in OHS injury type performance has occurred with each successive update of the GRI OHS Standard. This thesis can potentially contribute to improved senior leadership safety messaging in the resources sector and its impact on investors. Potential improvements exist for people who may be involved in any future review of the GRI OHS Standard. Most importantly, this thesis may improve OHS performance and worker safety if senior leaders and OHS professionals adopt and implement the suggested recommendations within their respective companies.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Business Administration thesis.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Machin, Tony; Sankey, Kim
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2021 03:15
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2022 22:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: analyst, C-suite, corporate social responsibility (CSR), environmental, social and governance (ESG), fatality, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), injury, investors, occupational health and safety (OHS), performance reporting, S&P/ASX 200, safety, sustainability, Zero Harm
Fields of Research (2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150399 Business and Management not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3505 Human resources and industrial relations > 350505 Occupational and workplace health and safety
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.26192/gn45-6f56

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