What is health and safety?
Occupational health and safety is a field that aims to understand and control the causes of accidents and illnesses at work to promote and maintain the highest degree of physical, mental, and social well-being amongst workers. 
Why this matters?
Respecting human rights obligates all employers, through conventions and legislation, to prevent work- related injuries and fatalities. Having an effective health and safety management system to mitigate the risks of occupational illnesses and accidents, companies will be able to (1) reduce lost time incidents, (2) improve employee morale and productivity, (3) reduce medical costs and workers’ compensation costs, and (4) comply with national legislation.
Many countries around the world have legislation on occupational health and safety. Authorities carry out inspections of companies about their health and safety management systems and practices, and investigate fatalities and severe safety accidents. In some cases, authorities can stop the production if they believe the safety risk is too high.
International and local standards:
- the Occupational Safety and Health convention, C155  and its accompanying Recommendation 164 
- the BSI British Standards for Occupational Health and Safety 
- the US OSHA Standards 
Example of a health and safety policy
”[Company Name] is committed to managing all potential risks to the health, safety and welfare of all our workers, contractors and visitors, and anyone else who may be affected by our business operations.”
“[Company Name] specifically aims to comply with applicable laws and regulations; promote awareness through education and training; maintain proactive emergency preparedness and response and; measure and evaluate health and safety performance through regular audits, inspections and internal reporting.”
A.P. Moller - Maersk Policy
Click here to read A.P. Moller - Maersk Policies [Health and Safety] page 8.
Additional Guidance on Health and Safety
- Social Accountability International(2016). Guidance Document for Social Accountability 8000 (SA 8000:2014). NY, NY: SAI
- Occupational health and safety management systems – Guidelines for the implementation of OHSAS 18001 (2008). BSI-OHSAS 18002. UK. BSI
Download the Supplier Sustainability Guidance-pdf here