A formal boardroom review of health and safety performance is essential. It allows the board to establish whether the essential health and safety principles – strong and active leadership, worker involvement, and assessment and review – have been embedded in the organisation. It tells you whether your system is effective in managing risk and protecting people.

Core actions

  • The board should review health and safety performance at least once a year. The review process should:
  • examine whether the health and safety policy reflects the organisation's current priorities, plans and targets;
  • examine whether risk management and other health and safety systems have been effectively reporting to the board;
  • report health and safety shortcomings, and the effect of all relevant board and management decisions;
  • decide actions to address any weaknesses and a system to monitor their implementation;
  • consider immediate reviews in the light of major shortcomings or events.

How it can be done

  • Performance on health and safety and wellbeing is increasingly being recorded in organisations' annual reports to investors and stakeholders.
  • Board members can make extra 'shop floor' visits to gather information for the formal review.
  • Good health and safety performance can be celebrated at central and local level.

Case study: A leading supermarket with the involvement of all board directors was able to win reductions in sickness absence, reportable incidents and improvements in morale and pride in working for their company.

Auditing and reporting

Institute of Directors Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland

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Updated 2021-10-05