One of the center’s goals is to influence organizations to adopt best practices with regard to safety and health sustainability, which is defined as an organization’s “responsibility to ensure that the protection of human life and the safety, health and well-being of workers, customers and neighboring communities are a primary consideration in any business endeavor.”

The center soon will release a report titled, “Current Practices in Occupational Health and Safety Sustainability Reporting,” which addresses the shortcomings in occupational safety and health-related reporting among 100 global corporations otherwise deemed the most sustainable in the world. Among the many findings of the report is underreporting of metrics related to worker safety in the supply chain.

“It’s not enough to condemn local factory owners for these conditions and to expect long term change,” Cecich noted. “The corporations that source supply chain products, as well as their stakeholders, have tremendous power to influence the conditions in which supply chain workers operate. The sustainability movement, long oriented predominantly toward influencing corporate decisions with regard to the environment, has developed frameworks by which corporations can compile and report on performance criteria.

Cecich said the center is suggesting key indicators that should be included in sustainability reporting, such as promoting the use of occupational safety and health management systems, extending coverage to temporary or fixed duration contract workers and increasing focus on workers for suppliers in the developing world. Added Cecich: “Addressing these issues will pave the way for more meaningful reporting and needed changes when it comes to protecting human life and the safety, health and well-being of workers, customers, and neighboring communities.”