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The business case for occupational safety, health, environment and beyond.

Biddle EA; Carande-Kulis VG; Woodhull D; Newell S; Shroff R
Occupational Health and Safety. Burke RJ, Clarke S, Cooper CL, eds., Burlington, VT: Gower, 2011 Aug; :47-69
The business case is not a new tool or method in the business community, but it is relatively new to the OSH world. As was demonstrated through the application of the AIHA Value Strategy, reducing the risk to the worker can have a positive value to the business enterprise. As reported by Goetzel et al. it has been demonstrated through the use of developing the business cases that worksite health promotion and disease prevention programs save health care expenditures and produce a positive ROI for individual firms-Johnson &Johnson in 2002, Citibank in 1999-2000, Procter and Gamble in 1998, Chevron in 1998, California Public Retirement System in 1994, Bank of America in 1993, and Dupont in 1990. As businesses continue to be under increasing pressure to be cost effective and more efficient, it becomes imperative that OSH professionals understand how to prepare and present the business case to successful compete for scarce resources. OSH professionals must bridge the information gap by providing business decision makers evidence in the terms they understand-and have used since the early 1900s. It is perhaps even more important for OSH professionals to understand the relative value of the interventions-programs or activities-they recommend for mitigating risks. The business case skills they develop can provide them with a new perspective regarding which solutions are best. For example, some OSH activities may not generate a positive NPY, but the results demonstrated by the business case will indicate that they are the best option to meeting regulatory requirements. Additionally, case studies have shown that commonly-held beliefs with respect to the cost-effectiveness of respiratory protection versus engineering controls may be overturned when business case analysis is applied. Engineering controls are often the more cost-effective solution, as well as the more protective. Adding business case analysis to the set of tools OSH professionals have at their disposal can provide benefits on two levels-increasing the degree of protection for employees, and justifying the cost of OSH investments to management.
Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Disease-prevention; Small-businesses; Engineering-controls; Control-technology; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Book or book chapter
Burke RJ; Clarke S; Cooper CL
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Occupational Health and Safety
Page last reviewed: November 4, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division