Creativity Saves Lives. A bold statement indeed but one we have recently put to test. As a creative agency focused on internal communication we are briefed to bring all sorts of concepts, strategies or legislation to life. Some projects we work on are deemed light and focus on bringing creativity into the everyday workplace, other projects however are focused on using creativity to save lives.
Men and women go to work to provide for their families, build a career and add their bit to the economy but not all working conditions are equal. If we look at the daily work environment on the oil rigs you will find that Health and Safety is a number one priority, but it was not always this way.
The Piper Alpha disaster in 1988 set shock waves through the Oil & Gas Industry, 167 offshore workers perished within 2 hours. The disaster transformed offshore safety management and legalisation beyond recognition. The Cullen Report that followed made no less than 106 recommendations, the Cullen Report did away with traditional prescriptive safety legislation in favour of a more progressive goal-setting model. The offshore survival training is some of the toughest of any sector, take a look at the video.
Beyond legislation many of the Oil & Gas companies have adopted their own safety cultures and additional learning. Chevron offshore training includes a communication workshop identifying different communication types allowing them to understand how colleagues will respond/react during an emergency situation.
Today in all sectors QHSE is not an option, it is a necessity. Miscommunication and a lack of understanding remain a significant challenge. Using creativity, QHSE can be delivered to a large labour force with impact. The introduction to virtual reality, engaging narratives, communication profiling and the use of standardised symbols within a high-risk environment are all tactics an organisation can implement to ensure alignment. Investing in clear, simple and localised HSE imagery or campaigns can promote learning and understanding. The question is however, what happens when the legislation or campaign is perfectly place but there is no leadership to drive the message and lives are still lost and there are injuries.
Leadership is key driver in keeping any internal communication strategy alive. If the leadership team do not drive a message no matter how many illustrations, motivational talks or desk drops you have lined up, the message will fall flat. When it comes to the Health and Safety of your employees or the environment the tone should be set and maintained by the leadership team.
Conceptual Eyes have been working in the Mining Sector for the past two years, our projects have included celebrating the HSE successes stories and reporting the data back to the teams on the ground. Using storytelling and infographics, the data was brought to life through video and framed artwork. This brought a sense of pride to the mines that reported Zero Harm and celebrated the tons delivered. Illustration has been used to design mascots and organizational specific jargon to help communicate a message. Merchandise was made to create ownership around the HSE Campaign.
Our recent and very hands-on project in Kimberley has taken our Managing Director underground to learn and embed herself with the working conditions of the labour force. Our team have found a niche, an area where our skills can have impact on helping to save lives.
Health and Safety in SA : http://www.labourguide.co.za/health-andfe-safety
Fight Fire with Fire : https://hbr.org/1996/05/prepare-your-organization-to-fight-fires