Searchshow menu

Executive/Senior Manager

This information  is designed to support executive and senior leadership teams in meeting their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). It provides practical guidance on leadership, consultation and communication to promote and support the importance of a culture of health and safety within a business. There is information for Executive/Senior Managers about:

Research has been conducted over the past few decades to identify the elements that make leaders effective and what makes a sustainable culture of health and safety. A strong health and safety culture is one where workers can see and believe that their leaders are committed to their health and safety. Any input workers provide into the development of systems, policies and procedures is valued and followed.

Effective leaders know the value of health and safety as part of everyday business. They value the ideas and involvement of their workers.

Workers value a leader who sets clear direction and commits to action. Leaders, who say they are committed to a course of action but fail to adhere to them, send a clear message to their workers: ‘I am telling you the things you want to hear but I don’t intend to follow them’.

Workers see the CEO’s primary role is to shape, drive, guide and retain oversight of business strategic direction and objectives. These principles also apply to those in the executive and senior leadership roles as they implement and manage the vision and direction put in place by the CEO. The success, or otherwise, of any business largely depends on its workforce and the relationship between the business managers and senior leadership.

The executive and senior leadership team should provide direction to incorporate the work health and safety (WHS) laws into existing channels of business development such as strategic planning, financial and resource planning, and performance measurement. Responsibility lies with them to ensure there is an appropriate framework in place which is employed and embedded into business. Senior leadership must also ensure integration of the WHS laws into everyday business through engagement of workers at all levels to mitigate the risks and barriers.

Page last updated: 07 Mar 2014