Choose Safe. Choose Health.

ISG’s ambitious new programme aims to put health and safety front of mind for every one of us, every single day. Gordon Kew, Chief Operating Officer, explains. 3 June 2019

Gordon Kew, Chief Operating Officer

The average adult makes tens of thousands of decisions every day. Exactly how many is hard to quantify but undoubtedly, many of these choices, big and small, conscious and habitual, have a significant impact on our individual and collective health, safety and wellbeing.

From what to eat for breakfast to whether we speak up at work when we feel something’s not right, our choices reflect the care we take with our bodies, our minds and our physical surroundings. Just as importantly, our choices reflect the care we have for the lives of the people around us in the workplace, in our homes and in our communities.

‘Choose Safe. Choose Health.’, ISG’s new health and safety programme, aims to harness the collective power of our everyday choices. Going beyond the typical approach to physical safety on sites, this industry-leading programme seeks to provide the tools and conditions necessary to support a culture of empowered people working together toward health and safety every day. 

A growing need for a growing business

The journey toward ‘Choose Safe. Choose Health.’ began with the realisation that we had to do more to demonstrate our commitment to our people, clients and supply chain partners. ISG’s safety performance over the past couple of years has been strong, even ahead of the industry at times, and yet our approach and ambition for health and safety has remained ill-defined in the minds of our stakeholders.

Many of us can easily recall various health and safety campaigns across the industry, and comparatively, ISG’s taglines have varied widely by region and business unit. Furthermore, to date we have failed to create a robust and focused set of metrics and activities in support of our promises. 

As a rapidly growing business with a commitment to continuous improvement, we knew we had a significant opportunity to transform health and safety to the benefit of our people, our clients and our supply chain. As a result, we set out to define a clearly differentiated and ambitious future for health and safety at ISG. 

A safety programme with a difference 

For years, we have considered health and safety to be about more than reducing accidents. Perhaps nowhere is this clearer than in our value to ‘always care’, which pushes us to think holistically about the well-being of the people, environments and communities we touch every day. 

Given that health issues are 100 times more lethal than safety issues on site, there was no question that health had to be a significant part of our approach moving forward. Early on, we made the decision that in our new programme, physical, mental and emotional health would be as important to us as reducing accidents on site. 

Empowering everyone, every day

Broadening our definition of safety and health was a big piece of the puzzle, but we still had to figure out how best to ensure the success of our health and safety programme. Over the years, health and safety outcomes have revealed that people and places are healthier and safer when every person on site is accountable for making them so. It was important to us to not just mandate behavioural change; instead we sought to link health and safety to the choices all of us already make every day.  

‘Choose Safe. Choose Health.’ puts the power of healthy and safe decision-making squarely in all of our hands. Across our business and in every geography where we work, our ambition is to create an environment in which we are all empowered to advance health and safety in three distinct ways: through our actions, through our words and with our ideas.

From now on we will work diligently to engage everyone every day, ensuring that health and safety is front of mind at all times—because that’s what it will take. ‘Choose Safe. Choose Health.’ isn’t just a re-brand or a catchy slogan to put up on our hoardings. It’s a new way of looking at how we work together to keep each other safe and healthy. We can make a difference for each other, for our families and our communities. Quite literally, it’s our choice.

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