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Valuing Human Capital in Occupational Health & Safety

At the heart of business and the drive for companies to be more sustainable, are people.

This White Paper, Valuing Human Capital in Occupational Health & Safety, commissioned by L’Oréal and the Capitals Coalition, is an important contribution to human capital management. This paper presents how the value provided by people can, and must, be core to decision-making.

Valuation of occupational safety and health (OSH) programs is emerging as an important component of human capital management for companies. Human capital is defined as the knowledge, skills, competencies, and attributes embodied in individuals that contribute to improved performance and well-being. Therefore, valuation reflects two components that are at the heart of decision-making by companies and reflects a need to understand the value to the company.

This paper first dives into what is the business case for investing in these programs and their value to workers and society. Secondly, the paper explores how health and safety programs affect well-being. This means that impacts go beyond the avoided medical costs and lost income for workers.

It is recognized that efforts to apply human capital valuation principles to OSH data are hampered by the lack of centralized information and methods describing how to conduct these valuations. The purpose of this white paper is to provide companies with some key resources and data for conducting OSH human capital assessments. This paper is focusing on assessing the value of impacts from OSH, rather than assessing the value of dependencies on human capital. The paper is organized around Measure and Value Stage of the Social and Human Capital Protocol and presents several impact pathways for interventions or programs that companies might consider investing in. Impact pathways are important for laying out a systematic approach for understanding the methods and data for conducting the valuations. The paper then lays out the components necessary for conducting a typical OSH human capital assessment and, finally, it uses an existing case study that summarizes the findings from an ergonomics assessment to illustrate how to conduct a valuation.

RoSPA joined L’Oréal and the Capitals Coalition to host People Sustainability: The Future in London on December 1st 2022, where this paper was launched publicly. This event aimed to share information on the common thinking, motivators and incentives, standards and key performance indicators surrounding the value of people and their health, safety and wellbeing in companies.

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