Enabling a safer world for Anglo American

Communicating from desks to mines, across different seas and languages, we engaged thousands of people in one of the most important aspects of their lives: their safety.


With a diverse range of employees in equally diverse locations – from offices in London to mines in Southern Africa – our challenge was to develop a multi-faceted creative platform that successfully communicated their responsibilities and the importance of safety across geographies, audiences and channels.


Global Safety Day is the single biggest employee engagement event on the Anglo American calendar. It is a powerful and highly visible symbol of the business’s commitment to achieving ‘Zero Harm’.

The day makes Anglo American a safer place to work by bringing teams together in every part of the business around a shared vision and purpose – raising awareness, understanding and action around a key safety theme.


We started by simplifying the existing structures: pulling it apart and putting it back together with employee understanding at the forefront. The resulting global communication plan was a creative platform called ‘Controls Protect’ and it included three ‘activation’ points built around employee participation, rolling out over a 100-day period up to the day itself.

‘Controls Protect’ took people on an exciting journey to Global Safety Day. It was a highly effective life-affirming positioning, which was coupled with the now simplified control concept that all employees could understand, which resulted in them taking personal action and accountability on wherever they work in the world.

We targeted a group of 400 leaders and managers, who we identified as having the most influence over employees, engaging them in understanding how their decisions and actions influence employee attitudes and adherence to controls and what they could do to improve this dynamic.

We encouraged active engagement and interaction by supporting conversations to happen at all levels through a wide range of media and channels, including:

  • scripts and quick-reference answers, to facilitate discussions
  • an interactive magazine-style self-assessment for leaders
  • competitions on social media
  • a supervisor-hosted channel delivered to frontline employees starting their shift

All communications had a strong call to action that was measurable wherever possible.

Not only did we want people to understand the rational approach to staying safe, but we also wanted employees to articulate what being safe meant to them on an emotional level. This was implemented through the activation points and the creative approach. Instead of ‘telling’ employees the key safety messages, we wanted to encourage them to ‘do’ i.e. act upon them.


The three activation points ran for three months across 100 sites in 16 countries on 6 continents. 148,000 employees and contractors took part, in every corner of the organisation. 74% watched the Group film, and 67% participated in a discussion during the roll-out.