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Redefining Safety Initiatives for A Multinational Property Group


Shifting Safety from Compliance to Second Nature

Safety is a major concern for construction companies and their employees, whether on site, in the office, on the road or elsewhere. Organisations typically address safety as a problem of compliance, using rules and policies to tell employees and contractors how they should behave. The Strategy Group helped the Living Safely project team of this ASX-listed construction company to redefine employee safety.


Using Design Thinking to Redefine Safety

The Strategy Group used the human-centred innovation methodology Design Thinking to uncover what drives safety behaviours and to understand on a deeper level what engages and motivates them. Design Thinking enabled the project team to empathise with the employees’ safety experiences and to distil insights that ultimately turned the problem on its head. The Living Safely project team applied the five phases of Design Thinking to their problem: Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test.

“The aim was to make safety personal and meaningful, moving away from a compliance burden towards being a human experience by designing radically different initiatives.”

Jeffrey Tobias, Managing Director, The Strategy Grou


Understanding safety experience

Three key insights into safety “Flipped the script” on the project, delivering its success:

  • There is no point in talking about the abstract concept of safety
  • People relate better to ‘living safely’ as a personal experience
  • Living safely is about living a healthy and more meaningful life.

By the end of the Design Thinking process, the team had designed three powerful initiatives:

  • Your better life mentor – a peer-to-peer mentoring programme to help people identify life goals and define a clear path to achieve them
  • Your passport to a better life – a way to track progress towards life goals and promote success
  • SafeBook – a social networking platform similar to Facebook where employees share safety tips and publicly celebrate positive safety behaviours.

“It has been a huge cultural change … the team is living Design Thinking as a new methodology.”

Living Safely Project Sponsor
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