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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

IoD: NZ reports lagging

IoD: NZ reports lagging
Article Type:
Publication Date:
New Zealand

New Zealand has been slow to follow an international trend towards the use of non-financial measures - such as health and safety performance - in its corporate reporting, according to the chief executive of the Institute of Directors.

However Simon Arcus believes that in future OHS reporting will be adopted by increasing numbers of companies "because in the end what gets reported gets done."

While he is keen to see companies move in this direction, and believes it is something that will increasingly be demanded by society, he cautions that any reporting system will have to be carefully designed to be meaningful.

"Health and safety reporting is not like gender reporting, for example, which is just black and white," he told Safeguard. "Companies have different risk ratings, and different aspects of their activities that are risky, so I would certainly like to see any system having the flexibility that Z has suggested."

It is, he says, more important to come up with a good design, based on metrics that have industry-wide support, than to rush through a reporting requirement. "We don't want to drive a compliance mentality where people think that if they've ticked these boxes they've achieved good health and safety."

While good systems are tricky to develop, they are not impossible, he says. "We've just done some research on the top 20 companies on the NZX, and saw three great examples of health and safety reporting systems that could be useful models for others - from Z Energy, Contact Energy, and Port of Tauranga."

Arcus predicts that health and safety will feature more in annual reports by 2017, but that there is likely to be a corresponding apparent dip in measured OHS performance, based on the well known scenario that the requirement to collect a new piece of data will in itself prompt an initial surge in reporting.

"That's because we'll have more visibility of what's going on. I don't think we should take it as a negative, because we need to be reporting and understanding more data."

People Mentioned:
Simon Arcus
Organisations Mentioned:
Institute of Directors
Reference No:

From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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