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Organisations with manufacturing bases, extractive operations or agricultural interests in emerging economies need to pay particular attention to health and safety according to new research released by Maplecroft.

The Health and Safety Risk Index (HSRI) measures levels of risk to occupational health and safety in 176 countries and finds that all the BRICs nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and N11 countries, (Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Iran, Philippines, Egypt, Mexico and Turkey) except South Korea, are rated at extreme or high risk.

The HSRI has been developed for organisations to assess and compare health and safety risk worldwide. It scores countries on their performance across eight indicators, including: work related fatalities and accidents, number of accidents causing work absences, number of deaths from work related diseases, expenditure on health, life expectancy, government effectiveness, regulatory quality and the total number of ILO (International Labour Organisation) conventions ratified.

Health and Safety Risk Index 2010

Extreme risk
High risk
Medium risk
Low risk
No Data
Rank Country Category
1 DR Congo Extreme
2 Nigeria Extreme
3 Ethiopia Extreme
4 Bangladesh Extreme
5 Myanmar Extreme
Rank Country Category
6 Pakistan Extreme
7 India Extreme
8 Tanzania Extreme
9 Indonesia Extreme
10 Viet Nam High

Nigeria (2), Bangladesh (4), Pakistan (6), India (7) and Indonesia (8) performed particularly badly and appear in the extreme risk category.

The issue is of particular importance to companies because a healthy and safe workforce ensures better productivity, less absenteeism, less need to replace and train workers, improved morale, and ultimately a more efficient and profitable business.

"A safe and healthy working environment is vital. Organisations should ensure that best practice is observed not only in their own operations, but throughout their supply chains, to increase competitive advantage and reduce the risk of complicity in human and labour rights violations."

-Professor Alyson Warhurst, Chief Executive of Maplecroft

Of the top 20 least at risk nations 17 are from Europe, with Denmark (176), Luxembourg (175), Switzerland (174), Sweden (173) and Finland (172) leading the way. The UK is ranked 147 and rated as low risk.

The HSRI is available online and is accompanied by an interactive map. Data sources include the ILO, World Health Organisation and World Bank.

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Jason McGeown, Head of Communications
Tel: +44 (0)1225 420000

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