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

Board engagement with health and safety risks

This 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:

Mike Webster specialises in risk and regulation, and is a chartered engineer with over 30 years’ experience.  He has led risk and regulatory projects in the UK, Europe, Far East and US, and has acted as an expert witness in the UK.

He founded MPW R&R to provide risk and regulatory solutions for organisational and infrastructure safety.

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

Posted in Human factors, Leadership, Organisational risk, Risk management

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