Request for Research Paper Proposals

A call to students of Canadian universities and other institutions with a focus in business, OH&S, finance, engineering and/or human resources.

We are awarding $2,000 (CAD) for each of three guidance papers linking Occupational Health and Safety, Human Capital and Business 'Sustainability'.

Please review this request for proposal and submit your outline of approach for consideration by January 31, 2018 (500 words max.).

'Safety' is good for business. 'Safety' makes good business sense for workers, customers, corporate profitability, the environment and the public at large. Institutional investors are looking at companies with robust safety management systems as secure, longer-term propositions deserving of financial capital for growth.

We are seeking proposals for papers and that provide guidance to senior management strategy and decision-making on connecting OH&S to sustainable business outcomes and the leading indicators for measuring performance. The concept of 'Sustainability' in business is a modern perspective that broadens key success factors well beyond short-term profits, to include the impact on the workforce, the environment and profitability over longer time horizons.

Your paper will provide a coherent presentation and approach that integrates research with practice and provides guidance to organization executives and frameworks of evaluation by institutional investors of OH&S parameters as key success factors towards 'sustainability' performance across people, planet and profits.

You may submit your proposal outline for one or more. The three paper themes include:

  1. Total Stakeholder Engagement on OH&S and 'Sustainability'. Including as examples the themes of safety climate, trust, organizational culture, investor-relations; and reputational management of customers, corporate social responsibility, customer 'goodwill', and reputation with regulatory agencies, and the public at large.
  2. Leadership on OH&S and 'Sustainability'. Including as examples the themes of OH&S leadership by executives and company personnel; integration of OH&S in C-Suite strategy; leadership focus, behaviors, measures and accountability frameworks; OH&S leadership value to business performance; governance by Board of Directors on OH&S focus; and investor focus on OH&S and 'sustainability' and investment decision-making.
  3. Leading Indicators and Business Management Systems on OH&S and 'Sustainability'. Including as examples the themes of OH&S measures as inputs to corporate performance measures; OH&S performance indicators used for investor decision making from the lens of people, planet, profits; CPMs (corporate performance measures) and OH&S measures in the balanced scorecard with OH&S visibility in an organization's annual report; and OH&S integrated into Enterprise Risk Management.

'Sustainability' includes performance measures of the safety and wellbeing of the people who work for the organization and demonstrated through the effectiveness of the instilled business systems to protect people from harm (ie via safety management system). A company's ability to generate wealth is inextricably linked to the collective organizational health of the workforce, and greatly influenced by the reputation it holds with its customers, shareholders and society at large.

OH&S is increasingly becoming considered a critical factor to business sustainability and a driver of the triple bottom-line, 'people, planet, profit', and is therefore also a driver of institutional investor decision-making. OH&S is seen as a benefit to workers, but this is expanding to other stakeholders including customers, communities and the public at large.

Leaders of industry are presented with a compelling value proposition to shift their perception of safety as a compliance risk to safety as a strategic business imperative. Forward-thinking executives embrace safety as a 'profit center', and are shifting outdated paradigms of OH&S for minimum compliance with the law and an unavoidable cost of doing business, towards safety leadership as a positive engagement strategy and driver of business value to customers, workers, shareholders and the investor community.

Your paper will be used by the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) and the Sustainability Working group to advance the discussion of the value of safety leadership on organizational performance. Your paper may be published in CSSE's Contact Magazine, appear on the CSSE's website and included in the CSSE professional development conference.

Please review this request for proposal and submit your outline (500 words max.) and approach for consideration.

The Sustainability Working Group of the CSSE is seeking expressions of interest from students enrolled in Canadian universities and other institutions under the direction of a mentoring professor/educator for one of three evidence-based guidance practice papers exploring the dimensions of OH&S as a material factor influencing 'sustainability'.

Please forward completed form with signatures and attachment to

Request for Research Proposals Submission Form (PDF)

Please include an outline with your submission form (not exceeding 500 words) describing your paper of interest and your intended approach. Please direct submission of outline to: Perry Ruehlen, Executive Director, CSSE

  • Date of submission of 500-word outline of intended approach: January 31st, 2018 (midnight EST)
  • Date of notification of selected candidates for papers: February 13th, 2018 (midnight EST)
  • Draft of final 10,000-word papers due on or before: May 31st, 2018 (midnight EST)
  • Committee response to draft returned: June 26th, 2018 (midnight EST)
  • Final paper due: July 17th, 2018 (midnight EST)

*If selected, the report (10,000 words max.) is to be focused for a senior management and industry audience.

For additional information please reach to:

Peter Sturm, e-mail:
Daniel Makhan, e-mail:

For those with interest in OH&S, safety leadership and 'sustainability', please join our LinkedIn Group at:

For additional context on 'sustainability' and safety leadership, governance and performance, please see: