Advancing Good Practices in Health and Safety at the Corporate Level

Chair EU: Neal Stone, Strategic Manager, UK

Chair EU:Neal Stone, Strategic Manager, UK
Co-chair US:Frank White, Vice President, Organization Resources Counselors (ORC) Worldwide
Scribe US:Michael Taubitz, Global Regulatory Liaison, General Motors Corporation (GMC)


  • One of the subjects of tri-partite deliberation at the 4th Joint US/EU Conference on Health and Safety at Work was the subject

"Advancing Good Practices in H &S at the Corporate Level"

  • Early discussion established these key issues:
    • Much information on good practice is available
    • Implementation requires top level executives leading a culture change with active participation of workers and their representatives
    • A major question is why some organizations do it so well and others not at all
  • A presentation by Octel Corporation demonstrated that implementation of corporate good practices went hand in hand with an organization wide culture change. Octel's journey led to success by building trust with employees and the community.


  • The purpose of this one-page report is to give a high level overview that might inspire leaders to begin their own journey.


  • The journey to reducing risk in the workplace via implementation of good H&S practices is applicable to all organizations
  • Effective management of health and safety is a foundation for social responsibility and establishing a positive reputation with communities and investors.
  • Health and safety good practices are most effective when integrated with the systems and daily management of the organization
  • Worker involvement, competency and training are key to good performance
  • The motivator or impetus to begin the journey may come from inside or outside the organization
    • The influence of other top leaders who have already begun the journey is noted as to be of key importance.

The Journey

The journey to improved safety performance by implementation of good practices at the organization level goes hand-in-hand with leadership and culture change with the following steps:

  • Motivator: Industry leaders, workers / worker reps, government and insurance companies may all provide the motivation for change
  • First Steps: Commitment from every level of the organization and begin communication to build trust
  • Early Steps: Engage workers and their representatives, develop policy and commit resources for policy implementation
  • Keep Walking: Systematically monitor and audit performance with involvement of workers – determine what works, what doesn't work and what needs to be improved or changed
    • Integrate H&S into the existing systems, address contractor issues and perform external benchmarking
    • Continue to build trust
  • Business System Changes: Where necessary, change technical and management systems to support specific human factor issues of employees and managers working in the new culture
  • Externalize: Use your political and peer influence and carry the message of leadership to contractors and suppliers.
    • Assure cross country consistency of H&S good practices
  • Continual Improvement: Emulate existing successful processes within your organization (e.g quality), establish formal review processes

Motivator First

Recommended Actions

Organization Level: Begin / Continue "Walking the Journey"

National Level: Engage leaders and focus on data transparency, assessment tools, networking, increasing performance expectations and working to integrate H&S within existing systems

Joint US / EU: Identify recognized leaders, develop case studies and metrics, identify factors of why some have made the journey and others have not and continue work in the 2007 EU / US OSH Conference.