Project: Understanding the role of supply chains in influencing health and safety at work

Peer reviewed and published

This project was submitted on 22/01/2014, published on 16/11/2009 by IOSH, and peer reviewed by IOSH

This report details a study which was commissioned by IOSH to provide a detailed systematic international review of the research literature and other information currently available concerning the nature of supply chain relationships, the factors that shape them, and their role in influencing health and safety management and standards among supplier organisations. Its findings, while highlighting the general lack of research evidence on the health and safety effects of supply chains, indicate that such chains frequently generate adverse consequences in supplier organisations and relatively rarely encompass attempts by buyers to influence positively how health and safety is managed within them. They further suggest that initiatives of this type are most likely to occur where they are seen to support the business interests of buyers and, in particular, when external economic, social and regulatory pressures serve to generate ‘reputational risks’, and that the success of such initiatives depends on their encompassing adequate mechanisms for supervising and controlling supplier compliance with them. The report ends by detailing a set of propositions regarding the health and safety-related dynamics of supply chains that merit further empirical exploration and by putting forward suggestions as to how these could most usefully be investigated through future research.

Supply chain
Construction, Transport

Organisation: Cardiff University

Cardiff Work Environment Research Centre
59 Park Place,
CF10 3AS,
029 2087 4000

Principal Investigator: Prof David Walters

Other Researchers: Prof Philip James
(Oxford Brookes University Business School)

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Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 1NN, UK

t +44 (0)116 257 3100

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