"Attitudes to health and safety are determined by the bosses, not the organisation’s size," proclaims a new leaflet published by the Health and Safety Executive, 'Leadership Actions for Directors and Board Members' (indg417). This replacement for indg343 has been produced jointly by the Health and Safety Commission and the Institute of Directors, with input from a number of other organisations, including the Confederation of British Industry, Federation of Small Businesses, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, Local Government Association and the Trades Union Congress.
'Leadership Actions for Directors and Board Members' provides guidance for the effective leadership of health and safety and, as the opening quote suggests, is applicable to top-level managers in organisations of all sizes. In addition to providing a four-point agenda for embedding the essential health and safety principles, the guidance also summarises bosses' legal liabilities, provides a checklist of key questions, and lists resources and references for implementing the guidance. Case studies are used throughout the document to illustrate the points being made.
The four-point agenda, which features strongly in the guidance, is very simple in concept:
In common with many other guidance documents published by the HSE, compliance with the guidance is not obligatory, but doing so will normally be sufficient to help an organisation meet its legal obligations. Copies of 'Leadership Actions for Directors and Board Members' (INDG417) are available in paper or PDF format from HSE Books.
As well as publishing the new guidance, the HSE has also created a microsite that contains much of the same information plus additional material, such as advice for small and medium-sized organisations on using the guidance, links to a wider range of information, and frequently asked questions. The 'Leading health and safety at work' microsite is at http://www.hse.gov.uk/leadership