The last decade has seen an increased pressure to broaden the accountability of companies (and industry as a whole) beyond economic performance, for stakeholders. More and more organizations are increasingly adopting the "triple bottom line" — or social, economic, and environmental — approach to taking responsibility for sustainability. Businesses are increasingly paying more attention to the social dimension of sustainable development, mainly due to an experienced shift in stakeholder pressures from environmental- to social-related concerns. Social business sustainability has definite internal and external focuses. The internal focus concerns the health and safety, well-being of employees, disciplinary practices and equity and human rights aspects in employee sourcing. Training and development opportunities for employees are also included. The external focus concerns the impacts of the operational initiative on three different levels of society: local community, regional and national level. Unfortunately, when an organization considers the "social" aspect of sustainability, occupational health and safety receives very little attention, if any at all.
The case for health and safety as an integral part of sustainability is compelling. In Sweden, more than 106 661 employees suffer from occupational accidents or work-related diseases (2011). In 2011, the rate of accidents in the construction industry had risen to 11.3 accidents per 1,000 persons employed from 10.2 accidents per 1,000 persons employed a year earlier (Samuelsson, 2011). Protecting worker health and safety is sustainability. The health and safety of those who construct a project must be addressed when considering sustainability along with the health and safety of those who maintain and use the facility after it is built. Therefore, it is important to define health and safety as a vital part of sustainability, in order to contribute to the ultimate goal of improving the safety and health of workers worldwide. It will provide new insights into the measurement, management, and impact of health and safety sustainability.
CIB was established in 1953 as an Association whose objectives were to stimulate and facilitate international cooperation and information exchange between governmental research institutes in the building and construction sector, with an emphasis on those institutes engaged in technical fields of research. CIB has since developed into a worldwide network of over 5000 experts from about 500 member organisations with a research, university, industry or government background, who collectively are active in all aspects of research and innovation for building and construction.
A CIB Commission is a worldwide network of experts in a defined scientific area who meet regularly and who collaborate in international projects and exchange information on a voluntary basis. The W099 Safety and Health in Construction Commission is committed to the advancement of safety and health of construction workers. The tools necessary to accomplish this end include designing, preplanning, training, management commitment and the development of a safety culture. A country’s involvement with construction safety and health is influenced by factors like: varying labour forces, shifting economies, insurance rates, legal ramifications and technological development.