’It was a surprise to see health and safety be considered the top risk,’ says head of global 

Health and safety is the risk of most concern to directors and officers in 2024, a survey conducted by WTW and Clyde and Co has revealed.

Published today (20 March 2024), the survey found that this risk was worrying 84% of such staff globally, who said it was very or extremely important.

In turn, health and safety has been ranked top risk for 2024 by WTW and Clyde and Co for the first time in five years, overtaking cyber attacks and data loss.

Jeremy Wall, head of global Finex at WTW, said: “While the last five years have seen cyber and data breaches being a top risk for directors and officers, it was a surprise to see health and safety be considered the top risk.

“Clearly the pandemic continues to impact the business environment with some of our clients citing the rise in mental health as a considerable concern in their organisations.

“We strongly recommend that organisations prioritise evolving their risk management practices, addressing the emerging threats, particularly around health and safety.”

UK and Europe

The survey identified the key risks for directors and officers worldwide – covering the UK, Europe, Asia, Australasia, Latin America, North America, Africa and the Middle East.

Within the UK, data loss was deemed the top risk among directors and officers, although health and safety remained close behind.

And across Europe, the top seven risks were health and safety (83%), followed by cyber attacks (79%), data loss (77%), regulatory breach (72%), bribery and corruption (72%), systems and controls (71%) and breach of sanctions (65%).

James Cooper, partner and global chair of the insurance practice at Clyde and Co, said: “The report underscores the dynamic and complex nature of the risk landscape currently facing directors.

”What we have seen is that there is a pressing need for better education on directors and officers insurance and indemnification practices to ensure directors and officers are comprehensively protected.

”By leveraging the insights and recommendations from this report, organisations can better navigate these challenges, enhancing their resilience and strategic response to risks.”