The Importance of Leadership Walks under the HSWA 2015: A Guide to Effective Safety Leadership


In the realm of workplace safety, leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping organisational culture and practices. The Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 2015 emphasises the responsibility of employers and leaders to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees. Among the various strategies employed to fulfil this obligation, leadership walks emerge as a powerful tool for fostering a culture of safety and accountability within an organisation. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the significance of leadership walks under the HSWA 2015 and explore how they contribute to enhancing workplace safety.

What are Leadership Walks?

Leadership walks, also known as safety walks or management walks, involve leaders and managers conducting regular, proactive tours of the workplace to observe, identify, and address potential hazards, safety lapses, and compliance issues. These walks are not merely inspections but rather interactive engagements aimed at fostering communication, identifying risks, and demonstrating a commitment to safety from the top down.

The Importance of Leadership Walks under the HSWA 2015:

  1. Demonstrating Commitment to Safety:
    Leadership walks serve as a visible demonstration of management’s commitment to prioritising safety within the organisation. By actively engaging in safety walks, leaders convey the message that safety is not just a policy but a core value that guides decision-making at all levels.
  2. Identification and Mitigation of Hazards:
    Through regular walks, leaders have the opportunity to identify potential hazards or unsafe practices firsthand. By observing the work environment and interacting with employees, leaders can gain valuable insights into the day-to-day challenges faced by workers and take proactive measures to address safety concerns promptly.
  3. Promoting Open Communication:
    Leadership walks encourage open communication between management and employees regarding safety issues. When leaders actively engage with workers during these walks, it creates a platform for employees to voice their concerns, share insights, and contribute to the ongoing improvement of safety protocols.
  4. Reinforcing Safety Culture:
    Consistent participation in leadership walks reinforces the organisation’s safety culture. When employees see their leaders actively involved in promoting safety, it reinforces the importance of adhering to safety protocols and encourages a sense of collective responsibility for maintaining a safe work environment.
  5. Compliance with Legal Obligations:
    Under the HSWA 2015, employers are legally obligated to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees. Leadership walks demonstrate due diligence in meeting these obligations by actively seeking out potential hazards and taking appropriate measures to mitigate risks.

Best Practices for Effective Leadership Walks

  1. Schedule regular walks at various times and locations within the workplace.
  2. Encourage participation from leaders at all levels of the organisation.
  3. Engage with employees in a respectful and approachable manner.
  4. Document observations and follow up on identified issues promptly.
  5. Use leadership walks as opportunities for coaching and mentoring on safety best practices.


Leadership walks are a valuable tool for promoting workplace safety and fulfilling legal obligations under the HSWA 2015. By actively engaging in safety walks, leaders demonstrate their commitment to prioritising the health and well-being of their employees while fostering a culture of safety and accountability. Incorporating leadership walks into organisational practices can lead to safer workplaces, reduced incidents, and a stronger safety culture overall.


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