Safety leadership at every level

Establishing and maintaining health and safety in the workplace requires genuine commitment from an organisation – and that starts with your leaders. Ai Group explains.

It is obviously good business practice to run a safe operation in your workplace – but organisations can only achieve good outcomes if there is clear leadership from the senior management of the business.

Officers are required to exercise due diligence (taking reasonable care) to ensure the organisation meets its legal obligations under health and safety laws. The due diligence approach to health and safety, seen in Figure 1, is consistent with the due diligence required in relation to every other important issue in the business.

Systems can assist the organisation to meet its health and safety obligations; however, a senior manager must be directly involved in understanding the business and making decisions about resource allocations. Senior managers also need to understand what is truly happening in the business; they need to convince workers that they want to know the real issues in the business and be prepared to do something about fixing them.

Colleagues and customers also rely on each business to have a safe operation and to ensure workers go home every day safely. As a business it is important to have clear, consistent messages regarding the business running the operation and its activities and how it is keeping people safe. A safety journey and positive safety culture is not reliant upon one person, it involves the entire business. A vision where safety is valued, enforced, and acted on daily is necessary. Valuing coming to work and working safely is a responsibility everyone should have regardless of business size, culture, gender, and industry.

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