The chair of the Health and Safety Executive has challenged industry leaders to commit to a campaign of “continuous improvement” in a bid to shore up health and safety standards.

Judith Hackitt told delegates at the British Safety Council Sword and Globe of Honour Luncheon that they were all “true exemplars of excellence”.

Sounding a “note of caution” though, she added: “We should share a collective goal to prevent death, injury and illness caused by work – in every workplace. I want you to help us influence those who don’t get it yet – because you all get it and have an important role to play in influencing others.”

Ms Hackitt called on delegates to lead by example and ensure good safety practices ripple up and down every kink of the supply chain.

“You are all exemplars of excellence – but what about your suppliers and your customers?” she asked.

“Perhaps the next step in driving continuous improvement is to insist that your customers and suppliers achieve the same standards that you have already achieved, rather than driving ever smaller improvements in your own performance.

“I’m not talking about becoming complacent but I am asking you to rise to the challenge of spreading your good practice where you have influence – up and down your supply chains.”

Ms Hackitt added: “I believe that you are all leaders – leadership and excellence in health and safety has no boundaries – you can outsource many things but you cannot outsource responsibility or leadership.”

The HSE chair urged delegates to take their “leadership and good practice” to others, “showing them the way” when it comes to safety management.

Related reading: