This website is for all directors, governors, trustees, officers and their equivalents in the private, public and third sectors. It applies to organisations of all sizes.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has further advice on leadership for small businesses and major hazard industries, see resources.
The guidance contains:
- essential principles of leadership in health and safety;
- an agenda that directors and board members can use to lead health and safety effectively in their organisation. The agenda comprises:
- core actions that relate directly to the legal duties of an organisation. These actions are intended to set a standard
- guidelines that set out ways to give the core actions practical effect. These guidelines provide ideas on how you might achieve the four core actions;
- case studies selected to be relevant to most sectors – these are intended to illustrate where good leadership has helped to improve health and safety;
- case studies (failures) that show the severe consequences that can arise when board members do not lead effectively on health and safety management. These examples mark issues for all boards to consider;
- advice on the legal liabilities of directors and board members and on the legal responsibilities of employers;
- advice on the costs of poor health and safety at work and the benefits of good health and safety;
- a checklist of key questions for leaders;
- notes on corporate governance;
- notes on auditing and reporting;
- a list of resources and references to further advice and guidance.
This guidance is issued jointly by the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) The work was overseen by an IoD-led steering group comprising nominees from the:
- Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
- Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
- Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)
- Local Government Association (LGA)
- National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
- National Health Service (NHS) Confederation
- Trades Union Congress (TUC)
- University of Warwick
Advice about the status of this guidance
This guidance, issued jointly by the Institute of Directors and the Health and Safety Executive, is addressed to directors (and their equivalents) of corporate bodies and of organisations in the public and third sectors. Such organisations are required to comply with health and safety law. Although reference is made to existing legal obligations, following the guidance is not in itself obligatory. However, if you do follow it you will normally be doing enough to help your organisation meet its legal obligations.
In considering the liability of an organisation under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, a jury must consider any breaches of health and safety legislation and may have regard to any health and safety guidance. In addition to other health and safety guidance, this guidance could be a relevant consideration for a jury depending on the circumstances of the particular case.