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Presented by:. Roger Bibbings MBE, BA, CFIOSH, Occupational Safety Adviser THE ROYAL SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF ACCIDENTS. ‘Director Action on Safety and Health’ Exercising leadership to save lives and reduce injuries. About RoSPA. Charity, founded 1917

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Director action on safety and health exercising leadership to save lives and reduce injuries

Presented by:

Roger Bibbings MBE, BA, CFIOSH, Occupational Safety Adviser


‘Director Action on Safety and Health’

Exercising leadership to save lives and reduce injuries

About rospa
About RoSPA

Charity, founded 1917

  • Work, Road, Home. Water and Leisure, Safety Education

  • Mission ‘To save lives and reduce injuries.’

  • Vision ‘To lead the way in safety’

    Key activities

  • Member services, outreach

  • Information, guidance, events, awareness raising

  • Training, auditing, awards

  • Campaigning (MORR, Directors, Small Firms, Ac Inv)

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Work related tragedy and waste
Work related tragedy and waste

  • 241 notified fatal injuries to workers (06/07)

  • 100 + members of the public

  • 1,000 fatal WoRRIs?

  • 328,000 reportable injuries (LFS 06/07)

  • 24,000 deaths (?) due to work related health damage

  • 1 million injuries (all severities)

  • 2 million cases of work related ill health

  • 26 million working days lost

  • 2 –3 % of GDP!

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Where to focus effort
Where to focus effort?

  • Targets

  • HSE’s ‘high five’ (falls, STF, transport, stress, MSDs)

  • SMEs

  • Supply chain

  • Attendance, rehab and well-being

  • Occupational road safety?

  • Behavioural safety?

  • Workforce involvement

  • Advice and services

  • Directors and senior managers?

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Why focus on directors
Why focus on directors?

  • Growing understanding of accidents as organisational safety failures

  • Limited prosecution of directors for H&S offences,

  • Failure of high profile prosecutions,

  • Calls for greater accountability and CM

  • Justice gap?

  • Business education H&S deficit?

  • Leadership gap?

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Negative perceptions of h s
Negative perceptions of H&S

  • Poor attitudes (‘don’t know, don’t care!’)

  • Seen as negative/not positive, burden not benefit

  • Poor grasp of hazard/risk/harm/loss profile

  • Pre Factories Act perceptions of H&S

  • Seen as technical/legal compliance not strategic

  • Weak understanding of moral/regulatory/enforcement context

  • Accidents due mainly to unsafe workers

  • Weak understanding of HSG65 approach

  • Nominal leadership/delegation to ‘experts’

Saving lives, reducing injuries

As opposed to
As opposed to

  • Board level issue

  • Performance focussed

  • About operational integrity/reliability

  • About people not just technicalities

  • About health and well being not just safety/accidents

  • About unsafe systems not just individual error

  • About managing risks not just liability

  • Linked to Quality, HR, Environment, Productivity

  • Part of the leadership challenge at all levels..

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Leadership failures

Windscale (Sellafield) – RadiationBritish Nuclear Fuels30 estimated fatalities

Abervan, – Coal Tip National Coal Board144 fatalities

Kings Cross Station - FireLondon Underground31 fatalities

Flixborough, Lincolnshire - ExplosionConoco Phillips18 fatalities

Piper Alpha - Fire/ExplosionOccidental Phillips167 fatalities

Herald of Free Enterprise - Townsend Thoresen193 fatalities







Leadership failures?

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Two decades of disasters


Kegworth, UK – Plane CrashBritish Midland47 fatalities

Lyme Bay - Canoeing AccidentOLL Ltd4 fatalities

Southall Train Crash – Fire/ExplosionRailway Operator7 fatalities

Paddington Rail CrashRailway Operator28 fatalities

Glasgow, Scotland – Fire/ExplosionICL Plastics9 fatalities

Grangemouth, Scotland – ExplosionBritish Petroleum2 fatalities






Two decades of disasters?

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Baker report

BP Texas City Refinery Accident, 2005:

15 dead, 170 injured

$21 million fine

destroyed shareholder value

CEO + senior managers left

high regulatory scrutiny

Board did not validate effective health and safety management or strive for excellence

lack of a common unifying health and safety culture

over-reliance on measures of personal v process safety

failure to analyse lead/lag indices of process safety

James Baker

Baker report

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Why directors should focus negative drivers
Why directors should focus.. (negative drivers)

  • Corporate manslaughter

  • Manslaughter

  • Section 37

  • Higher fines

  • Higher insurance premia

  • Threats to corporate (and personal) reputation

  • Low workforce morale

  • Loss of business continuity/opportunity

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Why directors should focus positive reasons
Why directors should focus(positive reasons)

  • Turnbull etc, corporate governance, HSG65

  • Top level commitment determines authority to act and performance

  • Confirmed by HSE, awards, audits

  • Responding to contracting/supply chain /stakeholder expectations

  • HSE performance reporting challenge

  • ‘H&S’ speaks volumes about an organisation’s values and professionalism

  • New HSE/IoD guidance

Saving lives, reducing injuries

New developments

INDG 417

Corporate manslaughter

Section 37

Revisions to the EPS

New developments

Saving lives, reducing injuries

New hse iod guidance
New HSE/IoD guidance

  • Needed to set benchmarks

  • Joint HSE/IoD but not statutory

  • Sets out social, legal and business case for H&S

  • Describes leadership actions for directors and board members

    • Planning

    • Delivery

    • Monitoring

    • Reviewing

  • ‘Walking the walk’, ‘talking the talk’

  • Launched 29th October at IoD

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Corporate manslaughter
Corporate manslaughter

  • Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill

  • Ten year campaign

  • Comes into force April 2008

  • Overcomes problem of ‘Directing Mind’

  • Unlimited fine if death due to gross corporate H&S failures

  • Not aimed at directors

  • Directors behaviour a key part of the evidence

  • Reserved for cases where behaviour has fallen ‘..far below what might be reasonably expected..’

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Section 37
Section 37

  • Directors and senior managers can be prosecuted with the company if an accident was due to their consent, connivance or neglect

  • Para 41 EPS “enforcing authorities should identify and prosecute or recommend prosecution of individuals if they consider that a prosecution is warranted. In particular, they should consider the management chain and the role played by individual directors and managers, and should take action against them where the inspection or investigation reveals that the offence was committed with their consent or connivance or to have been attributable to neglect on their part and where it would be appropriate to do so in accordance with this policy. Where appropriate, enforcing authorities should seek disqualification of directors under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.”

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Some rospa contributions to date
Some RoSPA contributions to date

  • Awards

  • QSA

  • DASH (1998 - )

    • Guidance on targets/reporting etc

    • GoPOP (

    • Business schools

    • Back to the Floor! (

    • Events

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Basic requirements

So what do directors need to:





say; and


tolead better health and safety management?

Basic requirements

Saving lives, reducing injuries

In other words
In other words

Directors need to review their:

  • emotional engagement with H&S issues (FEELINGS),

  • general thinking about the subject (ATTITUDES),

  • understanding of H&S (INSIGHTS),

  • the extent of their underpinning knowledge (AWARENESS),

  • what they say (ADVOCACY) and

  • what they do to lead effective H&S management (ACTION).

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Feel what
Feel what?

  • People matter and life is to be cherished

  • Anguish and anger about accidents

  • Sympathy with victims and their families

  • Anxiety about the possibility of harms occurring

  • A sense of personal responsibility for ensuring that harms are prevented

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Think what
Think what?


  • People have a right to be properly protected

  • H&S is the cornerstone of a civilised society

  • Safety should be the number one corporate value

  • The safe way is the right way

  • Everyone has H&S responsibilities but

  • responsibility is proportional to position power

  • Nothing the organisation does is worth killing or injuring people for

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Understand that
Understand that..

  • Accidents and ill health are not inevitable

  • H&S failures have immediate and underlying causes

  • ‘Safety is no accident!’ ‘Fail to plan and you plan to fail!’

  • The board must set the overall tone and direction

  • Accountability for H&S assurance rests with the board

  • Unsafe organisations and unsafe people spell disaster

  • H&S performance about ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’ not just ‘outcomes’

  • There is a massive business case for good H&S management

  • You can only ‘do H&S’ with people not to them

  • You need competent advice

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Know about
Know about..

  • Hazards, risks, risk assessment and the hierarchy of controls

  • The key elements of an H&S management system

  • The architecture (not the detail) of H&S law

  • Enforcement possibilities

  • The organisation’s priority risks

  • Its H&S management strengths and weaknesses

  • How the organisation is progressing against targets

  • What ‘good’ H&S looks like at all levels

  • How sector peers are performing

  • How to lead H&S leaders

  • What you don’t know

Saving lives, reducing injuries

While focussing on the key cs
while focussing on the key ‘Cs’

  • Competence

  • Control

  • Communications

  • Co-ordination

  • Consultation

  • Culture

  • Corporate capability

Saving lives, reducing injuries



  • H&S will come first on the balanced score card

  • Managers and staff will be judged on health and safety

  • Unsafe operations/behaviours will not be tolerated

  • But individuals will not be blamed for organisational failures

  • Clients and contractors must buy into an H&S ethos

  • The organisation will listen and learn

  • Legal requirements are a minimum

  • Anyone who is unsure has a right to ask

  • ‘Thank you’ to those who go the extra mile

Saving lives, reducing injuries


  • Planning

  • Delivering

  • Monitoring

  • Reviewing

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Doing planning
DOING: Planning…

  • Overall policy

  • Ownership

  • H&S Director?

  • Key risks

  • Targets

  • Communication

  • Updating and review

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Doing delivering
DOING: Delivering…

  • Management systems

  • Responsibilities

  • Advice

  • Competencies

  • Resourcing

  • New processes

  • Procurement, supply chain

  • Corporate committee

  • Securing worker involvement

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Doing monitoring
DOING: Monitoring….

  • Performance (inputs, outputs, outcomes)

  • Monitoring v audit

  • Active and reactive

  • Tracking H&S implications of change

  • Accident and incident investigations

  • Sickness absence data

  • Benchmarking with others

  • Contractor performance information

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Doing reviewing
DOING: Reviewing….

  • Periodic review of systems capability and performance

  • At least annually

  • Does practice reflect current priorities, plans, targets?

  • Is performance reporting working?

  • Identify shortcomings

  • Decide actions to address shortcomings

  • Report performance to stakeholders

  • Celebration at national/ local levels

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Walking the walk
‘Walking the walk’

  • Undergo training in health and safety management

  • Participate in H&S tours, PGIs and BS observations

  • Take direct responsibility for tough H&S decisions

  • Undertake unannounced visits and ‘challenge audits’

  • Lead investigation teams

  • Review serious accidents/incidents

  • Take part in H&S management systems auditing

  • Challenge unsafe acts and conditions

  • Never cancel scheduled H&S meetings

  • Set a good personal example

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Talking the talk
‘Talking the talk’

  • Personally email employees to disseminate safety lessons and praise initiatives

  • Chair health and safety committee meetings

  • Act as board ‘champion’ on specific safety issues

  • Meet regularly with safety representatives

  • Talk directly to employees,/contractors/clients about H&S concerns

  • Nominate for safety awards

  • Deliver health and safety training

  • Take part in industry/sector initiatives

Saving lives, reducing injuries

In summary
In summary..

  • Better health and safety performance - better leadership - strategic vision – and involvement at the sharp end too..

  • So how do you measure up?

Saving lives, reducing injuries

Some sources
Some sources…

  • HSE/IoD guidance ( )

  • HSE: Managing H&S: Five steps to success (

  • RoSPA: BTTF (

  • HSE: Business benefit case studies (

  • HSE: Leadership case studies (

  • HSE: Reporting guidance (

  • RoSPA: GoPOP (

Saving lives, reducing injuries