The traditional approach to health and safety at work through legislation and enforcement measures is changing, according to a new report from the European Agency for Safety and Health at work.
"An increasing number of companies and organizations themselves take the lead by promoting a positive safety and health culture through their marketing and procurement initiatives," the agency says.
According to the agency the corporate as well as the pubic image of a company is becoming increasingly influenced by ethical, social and moral considerations.
The report cites a number of "complementary tools" to traditional legislation and control activities that aim at promoting a preventative culture.
For instance, the report describes how companies are using occupational safety and health as a criteria in purchasing products and services from other companies.
It also says that companies are using occupational safety and health as a marketing element for promoting the sales of their products or services .
"This can affect market prospects as well as the ability to recruit and keep qualified and motivated staff," says the agency. "As a result, employees'' health and safety are becoming increasingly more important to employers throughout the world."
by Virginia Sutcliffe