BAA: Safety campaign
How BAA built a safety culture
Safety has to be a priority for any big construction project, and Heathrow’s Terminal 5 build was one of the biggest in Europe.
The project’s 5,000 construction workers, many of whom spoke English as a second language, needed to bond into a community that shared camaraderie, a common purpose and a culture of safety.
Reader research told us that our audience read the red-tops, overwhelmingly The Sun. We produced a monthly paper that both looked like The Sun and shared its economy of expression and bluntness of phrase – communicating in a style and idiom contractors understood and trusted.
We supplemented this with face-to-face contact, handing out copies to earn the trust and respect of contractors arriving for work at dawn and – in those dim and distant pre-Facebook days – use the verbal feedback to inform our editorial strategy and generate discussion.
Terminal 5 achieved a safety record four times better than the industry average. That record helped BAA attract skilled workers as the project progressed, reduce insurance premiums and complete the project on budget and on schedule.
The Site was named best newspaper of the year by the Institute of Internal Communication (then Communicators in Business), while a front page report on drugs won a national journalism award for its role in changing employee behaviour.
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