The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has revised the GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). In general, the amendments made in the revised GRI 403 include adding 6 more Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), clarifying new and old definitions of terms, standardizing the calculation formula for OHS data, and putting more emphasis on the areas of risk management, prevention, worker’s health.
According to the International Labour Organization, about 2.8 million deaths around the world are caused by occupational accidents or work-related diseases each year. This astonishing number can be attributed to the lack of occupational safety and health management system in many workplaces.
There are some notable changes in the new standard. Firstly, the scope of ‘workers’ is extended. Traditionally, workers may refer to people who get paid directly by the company, whereas under the new standard, ‘whose work and/or workplace is controlled by the organization’ are also included. Secondly, the new standard requires companies to calculate the ‘recovery time’ of workers who are injured at work, instead of ‘lost time’, when referring to the situation of loss of productivity. Thirdly, the new standards require companies to include hazard identification, risk assessment, occupational health services, and employee training in their reports.
Moreover, the revised standards are in line with the International Labour Organization and the new ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. It is believed that the series of new indicators and changes can effectively assess the preventive measures taken by companies to prevent occupational injuries and work-related diseases.
According to Judy Kuszewski, Chair of the Global Sustainability Standards Board, a vigorous and effective way is needed for measuring OHS performance in society, and a robust management approach is needed in companies for health promotion of workers.
Companies are reminded that although the new standards in the revised GRI 403 will be effective for reports or other materials published on or after 1 January 2021, they are encouraged to check out the new standards in advance and to adopt them earlier so as to avoid last-minute confusions and misunderstanding.