In June 2022, the right to a safe and healthy working environment was added to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and employers in the U.S. have long had a clear responsibility to provide a safe workplace under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Companies that go beyond minimum compliance to make meaningful investments in worker health and safety see measurable business benefits, while those that knowingly violate these labor standards and put workers’ lives at risk face increased labor costs, fines, and penalties.
Our Theory of Change
Investors are calling on companies with high rates of workplace health and safety violations and workplace violence to conduct third-party worker health and safety audits, with the goal of reducing job hazards while promoting employee wellbeing. ICCR members encourage companies to engage meaningfully with workers to develop appropriate solutions to address health and safety risks unique to their working environment.
The Business Case for Action
Investing in employee wellbeing makes good business sense. Fostering a healthy and safe workplace in compliance with state and federal OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and international standards reduces preventable injuries, illness, and deaths on the job, while reducing costs associated with workers’ comp, medical expenses, training new employees, OSHA penalties and fines, and litigation.
Many major retailers and brands have a long history of union-busting activities that violate worker rights. Through a combination of dialogue and the filing shareholder resolutions, ICCR’s members are pressing these companies to respect worker organizing.
ICCR’s worker-centered approach is having an impact. In 2023, our members: