The industry needs inspirational leaders

Chief Executive of the British Safety Council explores the nature of health and safety leadership at the 8th International Forum on Work Safety in Beijing.

The 8th International Forum on Work and Safety, which will take place in Beijing, China, on the 27-29 September 2016, will bring together health and safety professionals, business leaders and government officials to share their achievements, as well as the latest trends and developments in health and safety worldwide.

Speaking on 28 September 2016, Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, will present the business case for the proportionate management of health and safety, as well as exploring the nature of leadership in the industry.

The forum, hosted by China’s State Administration of Work Safety and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), demonstrates the country’s continuous efforts to reduce the toll of workplace injury and ill health and its improving record in occupational safety and health.  

Mike Robinson said: “The global cost of health and safety failures in the workplace is still unacceptably high. Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases, which is over 2.3 million deaths per year. This amounts to approximately 4% of global GDP each year, and provides an overwhelming economic reason to protect workers.

“International health and safety conferences, such as the Forum in Beijing, are proof that although health and safety records vary throughout the world, there is a lot of good will and resources to share experience and best practice for the benefit of employees and employers worldwide.”

At the Forum in Beijing, Mike Robinson will describe how a company can create an environment where employees are encouraged and supported to identify potentially dangerous situations and recommend solutions for improvement that would prevent future accidents. 

Mr Robinson will argue that to encourage such positive employee engagement in health and safety, the management needs to inspire them with passion and dedication, which are the qualities of true leaders.

“Really good leaders are truly inspirational. Their passion and dedication drives people to follow them and to adopt similar beliefs and ideas. They inspire others, not just because of what they say but because of what they do.

“It makes business sense too. The British Safety Council’s report into the business benefits of health and safety shows that with investment comes higher productivity, less sickness absence and more social harmony. It really is money well spent,” concluded Mr Robinson.

Mike Robinson’s professional profile and his views on the key issues for the health and safety industry are featured in his recent interview with SHP, as well as the interview he gave to the Safety Management magazine. A key message of the SHP interview can be summarised in his quote “Good safety leaders understand organisations and people, and have all the other qualities of a good leader.  Leadership is about people; you need to listen to (your) people and engage with them.”