Approaches to Managing Health, Safety and Well-Being

  • Aditya Jain
  • Stavroula Leka
  • Gerard I. J. M. Zwetsloot
Part of the Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being book series (AHSW)


As discussed in Chapter  1, there are various perspectives on health, safety and well-being that are shared among experts, professionals/practitioners, policy makers, and other key stakeholders (e.g. managers, employees). As a result, the approaches taken to deal with health, safety and well-being vary on the basis of these perspectives. The aim of this chapter is to present key policy approaches to managing health, safety and well-being at the macro level (international, regional, national), meso level (sectoral), and micro level (organizational). We will first begin by discussing the various stakeholders that are involved in the development of these approaches and their stakes. We will then proceed by looking at the policy level and examining both binding and voluntary approaches taken. We will present examples of both these types of approaches while considering outcomes achieved. We will then focus on initiatives at organizational level by considering examples both at inter-organizational and organizational level and related outcomes. Recent integrated approaches at both the macro and organizational level will be discussed. We will conclude by considering challenges in translating knowledge into policy and practice as well as opportunities that will be further addressed in the remaining chapters of this book.


Policy Regulation Standards Stakeholders Sectoral Organizational Integrated approaches 


  1. Abbott, K. W., Keohane, R. O., Moravcsik, A., Slaughter, A. M., & Snidal, D. (2000). The concept of legalization. International Organization, 54, 401–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abbott, K. W., & Snidal, D. (2000). Hard and soft law in international governance. International Organization, 54, 421–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ackerman, F., & Heinzerling, L. (2004). Priceless: On knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. New York: The New Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bain, P. (1997). Human resource malpractice: The deregulation of health and safety at work in the USA and Britain. Industrial Relations Journal, 28(3), 176–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barrett, B., & Howells, R. (1997). Occupational health and safety law. London: Pitman Publishing.Google Scholar
  6. Bergh, L. I. V., Hinna, S., & Leka, S. (2014). Sustainable business practice: Integrating psychosocial risk management into a company management system. In S. Leka & R. Sinclair (Eds.), Contemporary occupational health psychology: Global perspectives on research and practice (Vol. 3, pp. 198–217). Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Birkland, T. A. (2005). An introduction to the policy process: Theories, concepts, and models of public policy making (2nd ed.). New York: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  8. Blatter, B., de Vroome, E., van Hooff, M., & Smulders, P. (2007). Wat is de meerwaarde van de arboconvenanten? Een vergelijkende kwantitatieve analyse op basis van bestaand cijfermateriaal. Hoofddorp, The Netherlands: TNO.Google Scholar
  9. Broughton, A., Tyers, C., Denvir, A., Wilson, S., & O’Regan, S. (2009). Managing stress and sickness absence: Progress of the sector implementation plan – Phase 2. Sudbury, UK: HSE Books.Google Scholar
  10. Burton, J. (2010). WHO Healthy workplace framework and model: Background and supporting literature and practices. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  11. Cazes, S., Hijzen, A., & Saint-Martin, A. (2015). Measuring and assessing Job quality: The OECD job quality framework (OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 174). Paris: OECD Publishing.Google Scholar
  12. Chinkin, C. M. (1989). The challenge of soft law: Development and change in international law. International & Comparative Law Quarterly, 38, 850–866.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. DGUV. (2008). Prävention lohnt sich: Die Position der Selbstverwaltung der gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung zur Prävention – Leitlinien und Umsetzung – Mitgliederversammlung 2/08 der DGUV, Fulda.Google Scholar
  14. Ertel, M., Stilijanow, U., Iavicoli, S., Natali, E., Jain, A., & Leka, S. (2010). European social dialogue on psychosocial risks at work: Benefits and challenges. European Journal of Industrial Relations, 16(2), 169–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). (2010). European survey of enterprises on new and emerging risks – Managing safety and health at work. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  16. European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). (2016). European directives. Retrieved from: Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
  17. European Commission (EC). (2004). Communication from the commission to the european parliament, the council, the European economic and social committee and the committee of regions on the practical implementation of the provisions of the health and safety at work directives 89/391 (Framework), 89/654 (Workplaces), 89/655 (Work Equipment), 89/656 (Personal Protective Equipment), 90/269 (Manual Handling of Loads) and 90/270 (Display Screen Equipment) (COM(2004) 62 final). Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  18. European Commission (EC). (2011). Report on the implementation of the European social partners – Framework agreement on work-related stress. (SEC(2011) 241 final, commission staff working paper. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  19. Fernández-Muñiz, B., Montes-Peón, J. M., & Vázquez-Ordás, C. J. (2012). Occupational risk management under the OHSAS 18001 standard: Analysis of perceptions and attitudes of certified firms. Journal of Cleaner Production, 24, 36–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. G7. (2015a). Vision zero fund launched. Press and information office of the federal government, 13 October 2015. Retrieved from: Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
  21. G7. (2015b). Action for fair production, ministerial declaration. Retrieved from: Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
  22. Gold, M., & Duncan, M. (1993). EC health and safety policy – Better safe than sorry. European Business Journal, 5(4), 51–56.Google Scholar
  23. Halpin, J. F. (1966). Zero defects – A new dimension in quality assurance. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  24. Hämäläinen, R.-M. (2006). Workplace health promotion in Europe – The role of national health policies and strategies. Helsinki, Finland: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.Google Scholar
  25. Hämäläinen, R.-M. (2008). The Europeanisation of occupational health services: A study of the impact of EU policies (Report No. 82). Helsinki, Finland: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.Google Scholar
  26. Hanberger, A. (2001). What is the policy problem? Evaluation, 7(1), 45–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Harrop, M. (1992). Power and policy in liberal democracies. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Hasle, P., & Zwetsloot, G. I. J. M. (2011). Occupational health and safety management systems: Issues and challenges. Safety Science, 49(7), 961–963.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Health and Safety Executive (HSE). (2001). Reducing risks, protecting people. Norwich, UK: HMSO.Google Scholar
  30. Health and Safety Executive (HSE). (2005). Occupational health and safety support systems for small and medium sized enterprises. Sudbury, UK: HSE Books.Google Scholar
  31. Iavicoli, S., Leka, S., Jain, A., Persechino, B., Rondinone, B. M., Ronchetti, M., et al. (2014). Hard and soft law approaches to addressing psychosocial risks in Europe: Lessons learned in the development of the Italian approach. Journal of Risk Research, 17(7), 855–869.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Iavicoli, S., Natali, E., Deitinger, P., Rondinone, B., Ertel, M., Jain, A., & Leka, S. (2011). Occupational health and safety policy and psychosocial risks in Europe: The role of stakeholders’ perceptions. Health Policy, 101(1), 87–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ikenberry, J. (2001). After victory: Institutions, strategic restraint and the rebuilding order after major wars. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  34. International Labour Organization (ILO). (2004). Promotional framework for occupational safety and health. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Organization.Google Scholar
  35. International Labour Organization (ILO). (2015). Vision Zero Fund: Questions and answers. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Organization.Google Scholar
  36. International Labour Organization (ILO). (2016). Conventions and recommendations. Retrieved from: Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
  37. ISSA. (2016). Safety 7.0–7 golden rules to vision zero. Retrieved from: Accessed 15 Dec.
  38. Johnstone, R. (2008). Harmonising occupational health and safety regulation in Australia: The first report of the national OHS review. Journal of Applied Law & Policy, 35–58.Google Scholar
  39. Joubert, D. M. (2002). Occupational health challenges and success in developing countries: A South African perspective. International Journal of Occupational & Environmental Health, 8, 119–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kirton, J. J., & Trebilcock, M. J. (Eds.). (2004). Hard choices, soft law: Voluntary standards in global trade, environment and social governance. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
  41. Kobayashi, Y., Kaneyoshi, A., Yokota, A., & Kawakami, N. (2008). Effects of a worker participatory program for improving work environments on job stressors and mental health among workers: A controlled trial. Journal of Occupational Health, 50(6), 455–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Leka, S., & Cox, T. (Eds.). (2008). The European framework for psychosocial risk management: PRIMA-EF. Nottingham: I-WHO Publications.Google Scholar
  43. Leka, S., Jain, A., Iavicoli, S., & Di Tecco, C. (2015). An evaluation of the policy context on psychosocial risks and mental health in the workplace in the European Union: Achievements, challenges and the future. BioMed Research International, Special issue on Psychosocial Factors and Workers’ Health & Safety, 2015, 1. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Leka, S., Jain, A., Iavicoli, S., Vartia, M., & Ertel, M. (2011). The role of policy for the management of psychosocial risks at the workplace in the European Union. Safety Science, 49(4), 558–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Leka, S., Jain, A., Widerszal-Bazyl, M., Żołnierczyk-Zreda, D., & Zwetsloot, G. I. J. M. (2011). Developing a standard for psychosocial risk management: PAS1010. Safety Science, 49(7), 1047–1057.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Leka, S., Jain, A., Zwetsloot, G. I. J. M., & Cox, T. (2010). Policy-level interventions and work-related psychosocial risk management in the European Union. Work & Stress, 24, 298–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Löfstedt, R. E. (2007). The ‘plateau-ing’ of the European better regulation agenda: An analysis of activities carried out by the Barrosso Commission. Journal of Risk Research, 10(4), 423–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mackay, C. J., Cousins, R., Kelly, P. J., Lee, S., & McCaig, R. H. (2004). Management standards and work-related stress in the UK: Policy background and science. Work & Stress, 18, 91–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McBarnet, D. (2009). Corporate social responsibility: Beyond law through law for law. University of Edinburgh School of Law Working Paper No. 2009/03.Google Scholar
  50. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). (2015). Total worker health. Retrieved from: Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
  51. Nyam, A. (2006). National occupational safety and health profile of Mongolia. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Organization.Google Scholar
  52. O’Connell, R. (2004). Making the case for OHSAS 18001. Occupational Hazards, 66(6), 32–33.Google Scholar
  53. Robson, L., Clarke, J., Cullen, K., Bielecky, A., Severin, C., Bigelow, P., et al. (2007). The effectiveness of occupational health and safety management systems: A systematic review. Safety Science, 45, 329–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Safe Work Australia. (2016). Guide to the model Work Health and Safety Act. Retrieved from: Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
  55. Smith, D. (2008). OHSAS 18001 provides MS approach for occupational health and safety. ISO Management Systems, 8(4), 32–35.Google Scholar
  56. Sparey, T. (2010). Does BS OHSAS 18001 work? The British Standards Institution. Retrieved from: Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
  57. Taris, T. W., van der Wal, I., & Kompier, M. A. J. (2010). Large-scale job stress interventions: The Dutch experience. In J. Houdmont & S. Leka (Eds.), Contemporary occupational health psychology: Global perspectives in research and practice (Vol. 1, pp. 77–97). Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Veerman, T. J., de Jong, P. H., de Vroom, B., Bannink, D. B. D., Mur, S. G., Ossewaarde, M. R. R., et al. (2007). Arboconvenant. Convenanten in context. Aggregatie en analyse van de werking en opbrengsten van het beleidsprogramma Arboconvenanten. Den Haag, The Netherlands: Ministerie van SZW.Google Scholar
  59. Wilson, D. J., Takahashi, K., Sakuragi, S., Yoshino, M., Hoshuyama, T., Imai, T., & Takala, J. (2007). The ratification status of ILO conventions related to occupational safety and health and its relationship with reported occupational fatality rates. Journal of Occupational Health, 49, 72–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. World Health Organization (WHO). (2007). Workers’ health: Global plan of action. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  61. World Health Organization (WHO). (2010). Healthy workplaces: A WHO global model for action. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  62. Yoshikawa, T., Kawakami, N., Kogi, K., Tsutsumi, A., Shimazu, M., Nagami, M., & Shimazu, A. (2007). Development of a mental health action checklist for improving workplace environment as means of job stress prevention. Journal of Occupational Health, 49(4), 127–142.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Zwetsloot, G. I. J. M., Aaltonen, M., Wybo, J. L., Saari, J., Kines, P., & Op De Beeck, R. (2013). The case for research into the zero-accident vision. Safety Science, 58, 41–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Zwetsloot, G. I. J. M., Leka, S., & Jain, A. (2008). Corporate social responsibility and psychosocial risk management. In S. Leka & T. Cox (Eds.), The European framework for psychosocial risk management: PRIMA-EF (pp. 96–114). Nottingham, UK: I-WHO Publications.Google Scholar
  65. Zwetsloot, G. I. J. M., Leka, S., & Kines, P. (2017). Vision Zero: From accident prevention to the promotion of health, safety and well-being at work. Policy & Practice in Health and Safety, 15(1), 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aditya Jain
    • 1
  • Stavroula Leka
    • 2
  • Gerard I. J. M. Zwetsloot
    • 3
    • 2
  1. 1.Nottingham University Business School and Centre for Organizational Health and DevelopmentUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Centre for Organizational Health and DevelopmentUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  3. 3.Gerard Zwetsloot Research & ConsultancyAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations