For EveryDaySafe culture change to become a reality, it’s vital that departments play their part in spreading the message among their staff. Truly embodying the action-oriented approach, the Ashmolean Museum has gone above and beyond in ensuring its staff are receiving adequate, but not overwhelming, advice and guidance.
The EDS team spoke to Mike Finneran (below), Ashmolean Head of Safety and Security, to learn how they’ve made their communications so impactful. “I decided to do it after Brian Jenkins, Head of the Safety Office, came along to one of our GLAM DSO meetings to talk about EveryDaySafe,” Mike began.
“That sparked my interest because I want to get as much information to my colleagues here as possible. Having looked at the wealth of information available on the Safety Office website I was pondering how to get the message out there in a way that would resonate with people. I decided to do a week-long campaign, using the series of five posters promoting the five EveryDaySafe values, to send out a message each day with some information about EveryDaySafe.”
This strategy proved successful, as Mike received positive feedback after day one. “I always try and make all the information I send out quite light-hearted because health and safety is a really heavy subject otherwise – if I start quoting legislation at people they’ll turn off,” he explained.
“So I then did day two to five with a different message each day, with a different outlook on health and safety and again I was getting some really good feedback and by the time I got to day five, people were talking about it.”
However, Mike is keen for the message to be longer-term than the initial five-day campaign, and has plans to ensure the message is consistently reinforced. He continued: “I’ll be displaying the EveryDaySafe values animation on our screen in the St Giles’ staff reception. I’ve also updated our Ashmolean intranet, and created an EveryDaySafe folder so there’s one point of contact for people to go to for information. In there, I’ve added all the EDS messages that I’ve sent as PDFs.
“And I’m looking at producing coasters with key messages like ‘be a good citizen, don’t walk by’ that we can give to all our staff at the museum.”
Mike hopes the EDS message will continue to support and improve upon the safety-conscious culture set by the museum. “Staff accidents have gone down massively over the past few years, and I’m hoping the EDS message will help with that even more.”
Perhaps most encouragingly, Mike’s efforts have been well received by those in senior management positions. Dr Xa Sturgis, Director of the Ashmolean, has positively supported the EveryDaySafe mission, subsequently inviting Mike to promote the culture change at an all-staff meeting.
As part of his week-long campaign, Mike sought to involve other members of the leadership team too. The message from Claire Lane, Commercial Director, was: “It [health and safety] couldn’t be more critical. It’s essential that we’re protecting ourselves, each other and our visitors and we all play a vital role. Being aware and vigilant is everyone’s responsibility – please don’t walk by – report it, sort it.”
As Mike summed up:
“The EveryDaySafe message to me is about coming to work and keeping yourself and everyone else as safe as possible and going home safely to the people that matter. Not just ignoring issues, thinking that someone else will come and deal with that, but actually having the courage and the confidence to deal with it yourself or to report it to someone who can deal with it. We are not perfect, we make mistakes, but we are committed to improvement and the EveryDaySafe message is a great reminder to help us achieve this aim.”