Leadership is a core element of a Safety Management System. Failure to include health and safety as a key business risk in board decisions can have catastrophic results. On these pages we highlight some excellent resources to support business leaders.

Health and safety legislation places legal duties on organisations, holding employers and directors personally liable when these duties are breached. 

Strong leadership is critical in driving, supporting and enabling all aspects of an effective Safety Management System (SMS). Leaders set the corporate values and behaviours for their organisations. Without good leadership, the SMS may lack credibility and be seen as a box ticking exercise. Such situations provide false reassurance, and obscure and distract attention from key safety issues, and may be worse than having no SMS at all.

Leaders must set an example because positive actions and behaviours reinforce the SMS. More importantly, leaders are not just those who sit at the top of the organisational hierarchy, any individual responsible for managing others and controlling operational processes and activities is a leader and role model. This includes line managers and supervisors.