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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

Leaders survey: three key challenges

Leaders survey: three key challenges
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Publication Date:
New Zealand

A second annual survey of chief executives and managing directors has revealed high levels of commitment to health and safety and three key areas where companies are challenged: risk management, worker engagement, and dealing with contractors.

The 2017 Health and Safety Leadership Survey, run by Deloitte with the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum, had input from 169 business leaders, of whom 69% were forum members and 53% were members of the Institute of Directors.

While 90% of respondents were confident their H&S risks were being effectively managed, a quarter of them conceded their organisation’s risks were not well described. “If risks are not well understood,” notes the report, “there is a question whether risk management is as effective as CEOs believe.”

The results for worker engagement also show a disconnect: while 90% of respondents felt their programmes for involving workers in H&S were effective, they also identified company culture and worker attitudes as a key barrier to improvement, and that boards do not spend a great deal of time discussing worker participation.

The report’s authors note further engagement activities might be required, such as specific culture change initiatives, H&S culture surveys, and including H&S in engagement surveys.

Regarding contractor management, only 7% said they ran initiatives to engage contractors on H&S yet 20% said contractor management was a top issue for them. Further, 20% of respondents weren’t clear about H&S roles and responsibilities in their supply chain, and more than 40% weren’t personally engaged with key suppliers on H&S issues.

Caring for the wellbeing of employees and contractors was ranked as the number one driver behind their desire to improve H&S by a whopping 73% of respondents, far ahead of the 15% who went for compliance with legislation.

Changing behaviours and attitudes – staff culture, in other words – was reported by 44% of respondents as the key challenge to H&S management, well above the 13% who said it was having time/money to put into H&S, and the 11% who said it was managing contractors and suppliers.

When asked for the kind of H&S initiatives they were undertaking, the top four were education/training (35%), reporting/data analysis (28%), culture change/surveys (25%), and wellness programmes (22%). Only 4% mentioned audits, drawing this gentle rebuke from the report’s authors: “The low percentage of CEOs who identify audits as a key initiative ... is interesting given that a programme of internal audits and independent assessments is key to supporting due diligence.”

On reporting lines, 54% of respondents said their organisation’s top H&S person reported to the chief executive, while 39% said that person reported to a general manager, who reported to the CEO.

The survey report is available here.



Organisations Mentioned:
Deloitte; Business Leaders' Health and Safety Forum
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