NIOSH and the Williams College of Business become partners on a new health and job safety project

Partnership focuses on developing a "business case" for the important role safety and health have in corporate strategy and planning | October 7, 2008

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Williams College of Business are partnering to advance the “business case” for the pivotal role that occupational safety and health consideration play in corporate strategy and planning.

NIOSH and the Williams College of Business will seek opportunities for “developing an improved understanding of the return on investment in occupational safety and health relating productivity to healthy workers,” the agreement states. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed Aug. 8, 2008.

“We are pleased to join with our neighbor and partner in Cincinnati, the Williams College of Business at Xavier University,” said NIOSH Acting Director Christine M. Branche, PhD. “This is a wonderful opportunity for reaching business leaders, notably America’s emerging generation of new executives and entrepreneurs, with the message that a safe and healthy workplace is a golden asset for a company in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace.”

Raghu Tadepalli, PhD, Dean of the Graduate School of Business at Xavier, said that corporate social responsibility is an important aspect of the school's mission.

“By partnering with NIOSH, we want to raise the level of awareness in organizations about health and safety," he said. "Our goal is to train students to view health and safety as business investments and to demonstrate the return on investment on them.”

Through the partnership, NIOSH, Xavier and the National Safety Council are developing a course for MBA students, “The Business Value of Safety and Health,” to be offered in spring 2009. This course will address how businesses can use occupational safety and health improvements and initiatives for long-term planning, operations management and other decision-making.

In collaboration with the National Safety Council, the class will incorporate examples from the Robert W. Campbell Award for Safety/Health and Environment Business Case Studies. These are real-world cases from multiple industries that have capitalized on the incorporation of occupational safety and health into their respective business models with outstanding results. The National Safety Council also is linking Xavier and NIOSH with other MBA programs with whom the council has been working in developing business case studies.

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing
work-related injuries and illnesses. It was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and has research laboratories in Cincinnati, Morgantown, W.Va., Pittsburgh and Spokane, Wash., as well as offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Anchorage, Ala., Denver and Boston. More information about NIOSH’s research and partnerships can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh.