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How do you demonstrate the board’s commitment to health and safety?

Many organisations struggle to translate health and safety into tangible actions and values by failing to ask the correct questions from their management team or not reviewing safety objectives and outcomes.

One way this is identified is by not challenging dialogue about the development of safety therefore, not creating safety excellence throughout the organisation.

The boardroom sets the safety tone for any commercial setting

Health and safety at work applies to organisations of all sizes. It is the job of senior managers to ensure health and safety remains at the top of the agenda, rolling out systems that are effectively implemented and robustly maintained.  It’s about being able to demonstrate leadership of health and safety governance and to ensure organisations maximise their performance and lead beyond mere compliance.

4 Steps to processing safety in the boardroom

Health and safety risk management is increasingly being seen as a boardroom governance function. Guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Institute of Directors states that “the board should integrate health and safety into the main governance structures”.

  1. A good process safety culture requires a positive, trusting and open environment.
  2. There is no such thing as a perfect health and safety procedure, so you should regularly and thoroughly evaluate your safety culture and performance.
  3. Communication is the basis of good business. If a process safety policy is important, let people know why.
  4. Making profit is important, but safety is crucial. After all, a process will be further delayed by an avoidable accident.

Leadership guidance for all directors, governors, trustees, officers and their equivalents in the private, public and third sectors is available as a PDF download.


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.