Companies that take active steps to maintain workplace health and safety tend to outperform those that don’t, according to a new study by investment bank Goldman Sachs JBWere.
The study looked at the workplace health and safety practices of the top 200 listed companies in Australia, and then compared their performance between 2004 and 2007.
It found that companies that were active in creating and implementing comprehensive work safety practices significantly outperformed those that didn’t.
The study took into account the fact that companies in industries like construction and manufacturing would naturally tend to have higher injury rates than white collar sectors by considering the extent to which they responded to those risks rather than just injury rates.
The study shows that workplace health and safety measures are significant indicators of likely company performance, according to Goldman Sachs JBWere head of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research Andrew Gray.
“Given the ease of implementation of longer term ESG factors, then overall investment returns will be improved for marginal additional costs,” Gray says.