SAFERi for Boards of Directors


Boards of Directors of Nova Scotia’s Long-Term Care, Home Care, and Disability Support Program organizations provide leadership and guidance to their organizations by establishing governance policies and practices, holding the executive leadership of the organization (e.g. CEO, Administrators, Executive Directors) accountable to implement and follow these policies and practices, monitoring organizational performance against a set of Board established goals and objectives, and establishing processes to manage all manner of organizational level risk.

Board Directors exercise their authority and make decisions to help ensure the organization achieves it’s care/support obligations, providing high quality and timely care/support. Directors act to ensure the organization operates ethically and complies with all laws and regulations.

Health and safety governance is as important as any other aspect of governance.

Boards establish the organization’s governance framework which, in turn, helps to set the culture of the organization, identify risk to the organization, and establish a strategy to mitigate these risks.

Understanding the risks to an organization and creating policies and procedures to mitigate these risks has always been one of the most important responsibilities for the Board of Directors. Boards need to consider current and possible future risks that can reduce the ability of the organization to provide safe, efficient, and quality care/support to those the organization serves.

Boards need to consider and focus attention on a variety of organizational risk areas, such as finances, human resources, technology / equipment / infrastructure, organizational reputation, and legal and/or regulatory compliance. Unfortunately, even though poor health and safety performance is a significant and possibly catastrophic risk to a care / support organization, many Boards have provided little meaningful leadership or oversight related to staff health and safety.

Fortunately, many Boards of Directors now recognize that workplace / staff health and safety is a risk category that requires Board-level attention and focus. They are incorporating health and safety into and as an important part of their overall risk management strategy. Boards are establishing organizational goals related to health and safety and Board level processes that allow them to monitor health and safety performance. This allows them to more effectively provide oversight to ensure that executive leadership in the organization are implementing and supporting strategies to mitigate the risk of physical and psychological harm to staff and working to create a ‘Safety for All’ culture.

Effective Boards understand that a good health and safety culture is valued by workers, those receiving care / support, funding agencies and other stakeholders.

Below you’ll find some tools designed to help Directors of Nova Scotia’s Long Term Care, Home Care/Home Support, and Disability Support Program sector organizations better understand the leadership role they can and should be playing when it comes to health and safety performance of their organizations.

You’ll also find, and can download, a tool to allow Board members to self-assess the level of safety leadership currently provided by the Board based on the SAFERi Safety Leadership Framework.

Click here to download the Health and Safety Guide: Good Governance for Directors (PDF)

Click here to download the PDF version of the SAFERi – Safety Leadership Self Assessment for Boards of Directors