Mike Cosman

BSc (Hons), PG Dip OSH MInstD

Mike is a highly experienced risk and safety management specialist who has worked in this field for over 42 years as a regulator, manager, policy maker and consultant in the UK and New Zealand. As well as working with many public and private sector boards, he has been the external advisor to six public sector health and safety governance groups (currently MPI and MFAT), currently chairs the board of the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management and very recently joined the HS governance group for the NZ operations of a listed Australia company. Working closely with a number of sector groups, Mike helps promote good governance practice and is keen to ensure there is alignment around interpretation of the Due Diligence Duties on officers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 between IoD, WorkSafe NZ and the Courts as the first charges are laid relating to this new duty.

Mike firmly believes that tone from the top is as important in setting the strategic direction for health and safety as for any other critical area of business risk. With the increasing focus on 'decent work' as an objective across many aspects of the workforce and the lead being shown by investors, Government and ethical consumers in the ESG agenda, the opportunity exists to use health and safety as a showcase of an effective risk management system - as well as meeting ethical, legal and other obligations.

In his experience the value of independent governance has often been underplayed outside of the corporate sector and that many medium sized business in New Zealand (particularly tightly held family owned ones), would benefit from having external directors who can provide a different perspective and constructively challenge the status quo.