University of Oulu

Innovation in HSE management for sustainable development

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Author: Oh, Jinjoo1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, Management
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Pages: 79
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Oh, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-07
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Hatami Boroun, Akram
Reviewer: Hatami Boroun, Akram
Rantakari, Anniina


This thesis studies innovation in health, safety and environment (HSE) management for sustainable development. The objective of this study is to identify innovation in HSE management that makes a positive influence on sustainable development. In order to achieve the research aim, the main research question “How does innovation in HSE management contribute to sustainable development?” is created. The main question is answered through two sub-research questions. The first sub-question discovers technological and non-technological innovation measures in HSE management. The second sub-question looks at how each innovation have an impact on sustainable development.

In this study qualitative research with abductive approach is carried out. Based on the theoretical framework, a set of questions were developed to collect the empirical data. The primary data are gained via email questionnaire from three (3) HSE professionals and three (3) senior managers in the construction industry. For data analysis, thematic analysis is used to identify and analyze themes within the collected data.

The findings of the research present three (3) technological innovations, i.e., wearable technology in personal protective equipment, virtual reality (VR) technology in HSE training and digitalization in documentation, and three (3) non-technological innovations, i.e., HSE forum discussion, well-being program and reforming policy and standard. It is confirmed by the questionnaire respondents and supported by the literature review that the mentioned six (6) innovation measures may contribute to achieving three (3) sustainable development goals (SDGs); SDG 3 Good health and well-being, SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth, and SDG 13 Climate actions. It is identified that innovation in HSE management system is beneficial to HSE performance by improving the health and safety of employees as well as protecting the environment. Innovations in HSE management can assist industrial companies to provide a safe working environment for their employees and reduce HSE-related physical incident and mental illness. This may lead to economic growth and social sustainability by effectively achieving the SDGs.

This paper contributes in HSE field by elaborating the application of scientific knowledge in a practical way as well as promoting sustainable development at an organizational level. The paper also encourages companies to make a commitment for corporate social responsibility and reach their sustainable development goals more effectively by suggesting innovative tools reviewed by the experienced HSE professionals and senior managers.

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