Leadership in Health and Safety

Regardless of where you work, you’ll have heard of health and safety. And, if you’re wondering ‘how many employees do you need to have a health and safety policy’, the answer is quite simple. Regardless of company size, all businesses have to implement health and safety procedures.

From health and safety for directors and senior managers to health and safety for middle management, assistants, cleaners and everyone else who works for you, you need to ensure everyone is safe.

Therefore it’s important to understand the importance of health and safety leadership and management to help you create a safe working environment.

How to Improve Health and Safety Management and Leadership in Business

There’s an endless list of rules and regulations that all workforces have to adhere to. However, when it comes to a health and safety small business checklist, and big business checklists too, three key elements can help you to effectively manage the health and safety of your business.

These are:

  1. Leaders and managers

Leaders and managers of all levels should be aware of the health and safety risks within a company. This allows everyone to work together to ensure everyone within the business is ok at all times.

  1. A skilled workforce

All members of staff must be adequately trained in health and safety standards. This helps to highlight the importance of health and safety practices while helping workers to feel safe on the premises.

  1. A trusting environment

By this, we mean a place where everyone feels as though they are trusted and involved in the development of health and safety. This is especially effective when it comes to those ‘on the ground’, as they are the most likely to be affected with issues regarding health and safety – particularly in industries that require manual work. This helps everyone within the company to feel valued, and again, emphasises health and safety.

However, on top of this, it’s highly important to have individuals who are leaders in the world of health and safety. And to understand how you go about this, it’s important to first understand the difference between leadership and management.

What is Health and Safety Leadership and Management?

While they may sound like the same thing, they are, in fact, different.

The key difference between the two is that leadership is more aligned with inspiring cultural changes within a business, while management tends to focus on planning and executing those changes.

If you were going to break the two down into specific tasks, this is what it would look like:


  • Set a clear vision for health and safety within the company moving forward.
  • Develop methods of communicating health and safety issues, alongside a specific tone of voice.
  • Show commitment, knowledge and a willingness to learn.


  • Make sure specific staff members have the required health and safety accreditations.
  • Maintain health and safety resources, while ensuring members of staff have easy access to them.
  • Monitor and review health and safety process against set goals.

While different, the two do work unison, and while leaders may not play a part in performing the work that requires health and safety, they do play a huge role in safety performance.

This is due to them building excellent relationships with others in the company, becoming someone they want to follow – perfect for health and safety procedures. Therefore, you must know how to spot and nurture these leaders.

How to Spot Leadership in Health and Safety

Natural born leaders tend to spring up within a company, and they’re usually quite easy to spot in the health and safety realm, not just due to their health and safety routines but through their influence on others.

Not always managers and supervisors, health and safety leaders tend to demonstrate the following behaviours:

  • Having a deep understanding of safety procedures and following them
  • Reporting any health and safety issues
  • Going out of their way to prevent safety issues
  • Introducing new processes to help improve the safety of themselves and others
  • Encouraging others to take safety procedures seriously

How to Cultivate Health and Safety Leadership

Once you’ve discovered these people within your company, don’t let them go. Instead, work to encourage them.

There are three ways to help cultivate these leaders of the future, which are:

  1. Identify them

The first step is identifying them, and once this is done, let them know to help them to continue to work on this.

  1. Invite ideas

Once identified, invite them to bring new health and safety procedures to the business. These people will often identify new ways to makes things safer due to their natural leadership.

  1. Training

The next step is to equip them with further knowledge and skills to make them a leader in the world of health and safety. This is beneficial to them, you and the company.

If you’ve noticed individuals in your company who show promise in health and safety leadership, Bright Direction Training can help you and them with one of our leadership courses.

To find out more about what our qualifications entail, get in touch with our friendly team today. Call us on 01204 859 859, email us at info@brightdirectiontraining.co.uk, or fill out our contact form here.

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