The risk of health, safety and environmental prosecutions was the third-highest risk facing directors in the UK behind cyber and data loss risks, according to research from WTW and Clyde & Co.
The global Directors Liability 2022 survey from WTW and Clyde & Co identifies the key risks for directors from over 40 countries around the world. The survey found that the risk of health and safety and environmental prosecutions was ranked third in the UK, with 40 per cent of respondents citing it as a major concern. Return to work, Covid-safety, and vaccination status was also mentioned as concerns but only by 11 per cent of respondents.
The research found that some of the risks for employers are the potential for allegations of corporate manslaughter or occupational health breaches resulting from a failure to ensure adequate health and safety in the workplace.
Cyber-attacks and data loss were ranked first and second, respectively, with 47 per cent and 43 per cent of respondents seeing it as a major concern.
WTW head of global finex Jeremy Wall says: “We are delighted to be launching the 2022 Directors & Officers Liability Survey report and are again grateful for the contribution from Clyde & Co. This year marks a sea-change in the global scope of our survey, with responses from more countries than ever before. With a volatile business environment resulting from the pandemic and geopolitical pressures, it is no surprise that cyber risks are high on the list of Directors’ concerns. Emerging risks such as Climate change are also spotlighted and we believe the report will provide a great resource to support Directors and risk managers when refining their risk management strategies.”
Clyde & Co chair of the global insurance practice group and head of the financial institutions and D&O team James Cooper says: “The survey results offer invaluable insight into the risks that are keeping directors and officers across the globe awake at night. What emerges in this report is a complex network of globally interconnected and evolving risks that leaders should not consider in isolation.
“Foremost in the survey is cyber risk – a multi-varied and ever-evolving risk, with a variety of significant consequences, should an attack occur and data be lost. While it is no surprise that cyber-attacks and data loss lead the risk ranking once again, the emergence of cyber extortion as a perceived threat adds a further level of pressure on leaders to implement adequate cybersecurity controls and to react efficiently and effectively in the face of an attack.”
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