Creating a successful safety leadership campaign
Virginia Merritt takes us on the infrastructure company’s four-year journey toward achieving Zero Harm Safety at its job sites around the world.
By Kelly Klass, Simply Communicate
How Balfour Beatty created a successful safety leadership campaign
In 2007, Balfour Beatty Group MD Andy Rose phoned London-based consultancy Stanton Marris for some help on a new job challenge he was facing: to help the international infrastructure business achieve Zero Harm Safety by the year 2012.
Leadership and communication consultant Virginia Merritt recalls:
“I went to the meeting and I thought, ‘What I know about safety management processes I could write on the back of a postage stamp.’ After years of working with clients on leadership, change and other initiatives, there we were having to advise an organization of 50,000 employees, plus all their subcontractors, on eliminating deaths and serious harm on the job.”
At Balfour Beatty, employees account for only 10 per cent of the work force; the remaining 90% are the subcontractors. Whenever a fatal accident occurs, Balfour Beatty feels morally and contractually responsible, understandably.
So this was an elephant-sized task.