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What does Good Corporate Governance look like for Health & Safety?

21st March 2018

In any organisation, effective leadership requires an accountable governance structure. This is no different for Health & Safety. Using the 5 core principles from the UK Corporate Governance Code (2016) you can create your governance plan for success and also to understand where things often go wrong. It becomes a simple checklist to consider where your organisation is.

Corporate Governance Checklist


  • ·     Direction setting – Values, Vision and Strategy are set and are effectively implemented in the business.
  • ·     Assessment of risk – risks identified and managed.
  • ·     Resource – Adequate time, people or money made available to implement the plan.
  • ·     Alignment – Health & Safety strategy created in conjunction with the broader business strategy.


  • ·     Competence – director skills, experience and knowledge are matched to business risks.
  • ·     Recruitment and development – Health & Safety considered when recruiting, inducting and developing directors.
  • ·     Independent challenge – depth of experience to really challenge current Health & Safety Performance.
  • ·     Role clarity – good Corporate Governance expectations established for Health & Safety.
  • ·     Performance Management – Impactful personal and full board performance with respect to Health & Safety.
  • ·     Access to and interrogation of data – information provided and challenged that allows directors to know if risks are being managed effectively.


  • ·     Presentation of business assessment – Clear knowledge of effectiveness of risk management.
  • ·     Monitoring – Clear recognition of Health & Safety as a key business risk and therefore ensuring monitoring is effective.
  • ·     Independence – Scrutiny given to real Health & Safety performance via internal and external audit resources.


  • ·     Performance Related Rewards – Rewarding real performance improvement via proactive means.dd
  • ·     Transparency – Delivering consistent rewards for Health & Safety: activity is recognised not to be the same as improvement.
  • ·     Importance of Objectives – directors that consistently deliver the Health & Safety component of the business strategy are recognised and rewarded for it.

Relations with shareholders:

  • ·     Harvesting Insights – Clear recognition that shareholders and broader stakeholders needs must be heard and responded to.

Being able to answer the question: “What does good Corporate Governance look like for my organisation?” is essential for long term success. Answering this question, and responding to what you learn, allows you to know that significant risks in the business are under control and that people are safe and well by choice and not by chance.

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