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Leading health & safety at work

If you own a business or you are listed as a board member, your Health & Safety responsibilities involve protecting the Health & Safety of employees or members of the public who may be affected by your activities. This is an essential part of risk management and whether you are a director of a large organisation or small business, your obligations to Health & Safety are binding.

Organisational strategy, decision-making processes and supply chain management
Failure to include Health & Safety as a key business risk in board decisions can have catastrophic results. Many high-profile safety cases over the years have been rooted in failures of leadership.

Health & Safety law duties of organisations, employers and directors
Health & Safety law places duties on organisations and employers, directors can be personally liable when these duties are breached: members of the board have both collective and individual responsibility for Health & Safety.

By following this guidance, you will help your organisation find the best ways to lead and promote Health & Safety, and therefore meet its legal obligations.

The starting points are the following essential principles. These principles are intended to underpin the actions in this guidance and so lead to good Health & Safety performance.

The essential principles of Health & Safety

  • Strong and active leadership from the top
    - visible, active commitment from the board
    -  establishing effective ‘downward’ communication systems and management structures
    - integration of good Health & Safety management with business decisions
  • Worker involvement
    -    engaging the workforce in the promotion and achievement of safe and healthy conditions
    -    effective ‘upward’ communication
    -    providing high-quality training
  • Assessment and review
    -    identifying and managing Health & Safety risks
    -    accessing (and following) competent advice
    -    monitoring, reporting and reviewing performance


Mike is Managing Director of RISK who provide Health & Safety consultations and are recognised as one of the UK’s leading health and safety training providers. Delivering CITB, NEBOSH and IOSH courses at their venues in Nottingham, Liverpool and London and in-company.