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Director leadership behaviour research

In October 2007, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Institute of Directors (IoD) jointly published guidance for directors encouraging them to lead on health and safety in their organisations; the publication was entitled ‘Leading Health and Safety at Work: leadership actions for directors and board members’ (INDG417) . Following the completion of a baseline study to assess awareness and impact of the guidance among directors/board members , the HSE commissioned Databuild to conduct qualitative research to explore:

  1. What directors/board members understand about the current legislative framework for health and safety.
  2. What directors/board members mean when they say they have taken action in the areas covered in the baseline study.
  3. Whether and how board level actions translate into action on the ‘shop floor’ and genuine improvements in health and safety.
  4. The impact of board level behaviour change from the perspective of health and safety managers.
  5. Whether there are opportunities to influence behaviour.

The research was conducted through qualitative face to face interviews with directors, health and safety managers and shop floor respondents from 30 organisations interviewed in the baseline study.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-06-24