How is safety leadership demonstrated?

What does a safety leader do?

Effective safety and health management starts at the top of an organisation. Safety leaders consistently demonstrate behaviours that help others achieve the organisation’s safety goals.

Some safety leadership strategies are described below.

  • Encourage all levels of the management team to show their commitment to a safe workplace through their actions as well as their words. Ways to do this include
    • chairing safety meetings
    • taking responsibility for maintaining the safety management system (SMS) by participating in risk assessments and incident investigations to ensure the system is reviewed and updated as required
    • being involved in reviews and training
    • taking time to talk with work teams in both formal (e.g. site inspections) and informal (e.g. lunch breaks) settings about their safety and health experiences
    • setting an example at all times by paying attention at inductions, following all safety procedures, asking when unsure, and using the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing.
  • Encourage people to take personal responsibility for safety by consulting with site groups such as senior, middle and front-line management, and workers to set commonly accepted safety and health expectations linked to clear goals within the control of that group.
  • Raise awareness and promote the exchange of ideas by
    • providing safety leadership training so that safety leadership becomes a corporate value
    • providing appropriate risk management training so that leaders are more knowledgeable about safety and health on their operations, and have a common language with line management.

Related information

Below is the list of documents and link that you may find useful.

Effective safety and health supervision in Western Australian mining operations - guideline - 1819 Kb

Effective safety and health supervision in Western Australian mining operations - guideline: This guideline highlights the importance of frontline supervision within workplace safety and health systems, and the role of management.

Frequently asked questions on management and supervision at mining operations - information sheet - 498 Kb

This information sheet outlines the frequently asked questions on management and supervision at mining operations.

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website has information and resources on leading health and safety at work, including a leadership checklist.