Board engagement with health and safety risks – why doesn’t it always happen?

Board engagement with health and safety risksThis article summarises key reasons why board engagement with health and safety risks does not always happen.  The lessons from landmark incidents are discussed, and common causes for non-engagement are identified.  To gain a better understanding of these causes, we delve into what lies beneath them.  To provide a perspective, we also highlight what leadership and senior executives have achieved in ‘best practice’ organisations.

This article was published in the launch edition of the IOSH Magazine on 4 February 2016.  My co-authors were Jennifer Lunt and Malc Staves.

The online version can be viewed here.

A virtual magazine version can be viewed here.

In this article, we discuss the factors that can prevent executive boards from engaging with health, safety and risk issues covering:

  • Common causes
  • What lies beneath these causes
  • What good looks like

Part 2 of the article was published in the March 2016 edition of the IOSH Magazine.  This discusses ways to overcome these barriers to board engagement with health and safety risks, and is available here.

If you have any comments, please drop me a line.

About the author:

Dr Mike Webster is a chartered civil and structural engineer (FICE, FIStructE) with over 30 years’ experience.  He specialises in construction and structural safety, CDM and risk, and founded MPW R&R to provide Consulting, Forensic and Expert Witness services in those areas.

He has led safety-related risk and regulatory projects in the UK, Europe, Far East and US in construction and other high risk industries.  He has published a range of papers and articles on health and safety, risk and regulatory issues.  He acted as an expert witness in the UK.

If you would like to discuss this further, drop Mike a line at