Safety Governance & Leadership

Safety Governance & Leadership

Advisory Services

Dr Kirstin Ferguson provides advisory services to international organisations to identify the safety governance maturity of the organisation and to assist board members and senior executives in safety leadership practices for the most senior leaders of an organisation. All advisory work is highly tailored to the specific needs of the client and generally focuses on the following areas:y work is highly tailored to the specific needs of the client and generally focuses on the following areas:

Providing feedback on existing safety governance frameworks
Conducting discussions and workshops with boards and senior executive teams on adopting a ‘beyond compliance’ approach to workplace safety
Providing feedback on safety disclosures in public documents
Assessing current state of safety reporting to the board
Providing presentations to company safety events or client forums
Acting as an expert panel member or advisor in safety reviews

To enquire about whether Dr Kirstin Ferguson may be able to assist your organisation, please email her at

Safety leadership & governance for boards and senior executives

Award winning expertise in safety governance & leadership

Dr Kirstin Ferguson has a PhD in the field of safety governance and safety leadership and was awarded the QUT Colin Brain Governance Fellowship, as well as the Dr Eric Wigglesworth Medal by the Safety Institute of Australia, for the contribution of her research to the field of corporate governance and workplace health and safety respectively.

Dr Ferguson is an Adjunct Professor at the QUT School of Business and has previously been CEO of a global health and safety organisation. She has written widely on safety governance and safety leadership in industry journals including OHS Professional, Safeguard Magazine, Safety Professional and IOSH Magazine.

Dr Ferguson has also spoken at numerous international conferences in her area of expertise including giving keynotes at the US National Safety Council Campbell Institute Symposium, UK IOSH conference, NZ Safeguard Conference and the Safety Institute of Australia Conference.

  • Safety Governance

    When considering the role of board members and senior executives it is necessary to consider the corporate governance framework in which they operate. The concept of safety governance is designed to ensure that boards have the tools, knowledge and structures in place to maximise the safety performance of the organisations they govern and lead, beyond mere compliance with relevant safety legislation.

    What is Safety Governance?

    Safety governance is the relationship between board members and senior executives in the safety leadership of an organisation and provides:

    – The structure through which the vision and commitment to safety is set;
    – The means of attaining safety objectives are agreed;
    – The framework for monitoring performance is established; and
    – Compliance with relevant legislation is ensured.

    Every organisation moves along a continuum as they develop a safety governance framework. It is essential to recognize where your organisation may sit in terms of safety governance maturity in order to influence change progressively and effectively.

    To help identify where a board may currently sit in terms of their approach to safety governance, a five stage safety governance pathway has been developed based on research. Please contact us to learn more.

    Whitepaper download

    Practical actions for safety leadership – Safety governance frameworks for boards – Safety governance frameworks for boards

  • Safety Leadership

    While often removed from day-to-day operations, board members and senior executives of large corporations set the tone and safety culture of an organisation through the questions they ask, the reporting they seek and the way they conduct themselves when visiting sites and interacting with employees.

    The important safety leadership role of this group of senior leaders has regrettably been highlighted after recent high profile disasters such as the Pike River mine explosion and BP Texas City oil refinery fire.

    Board members and senior executives demonstrate safety leadership in the boardroom through four key criteria –

    – Vision
    – Personal commitment
    – Decision Making
    – Transparency

    Whitepaper Download

    Going beyond compliance – Safety leadership in the boardroom

  • Safety Disclosures

    Effective safety disclosures align with the key criteria of safety leadership as well as the safety governance frameworks of organisations. Rates of public disclosures of safety related activities have steadily increased over the past decade.

    Research has identified 24 categories of safety disclosures that are included within annual reports and CSR reports. Each of these categories can be considered under the broader safety leadership criteria of vision, personal commitment, decision-making and transparency.

    Research conducted by Dr Kirstin Ferguson has identified the changing trends in safety disclosures over the past decade, as well as rates of disclosure by industry sector.

    Whitepaper Download

    Going public on safety leadership – best practice safety disclosures for annual reports and CSR reports

    ASX Annual Report Safety Disclosures