Work health and safety has often been viewed as a “cost centre” – a compliance-driven expenditure where spending is kept to the bare minimum to satisfy legal requirements. Most often, safety expenditure will be justified by reference to legally imposed penalties for non-compliance. Rarely will organisations view safety spending as an investment, even though productivity gains from decreased incidents and worker confidence provide a quantifiable return on investment. Study after study has demonstrated that the better view is that expenditure on safety is a capital investment.

Safe Work Australia has now released the third paper in its series on the Role of Accounting in Work Health and Safety – The business case for safe, healthy and productive work. The paper discusses the way in which the business case for health and safety is often analysed – and misunderstood. The paper focuses its discussion on the techniques used to back the business case for safety, and outlines factors to be included when making a business case for health and safety investment.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s latest health and safety infographic provides a snapshot analysis of the paper’s key points. We also provide some practical suggestions for organisations wishing to make decisions informed by a true understanding of how safety performance is impacting the bottom line.

Click here to view the infographic.