3M launches new health and safety video campaign

Defending health and safety decisions is about to become easier in the construction industry as the personal safety division of 3M launches its nationwide Wise Choices campaign, a series of parody videos reflecting a poor approach to health and safety.

Famous for portraying Keith in The Office, Ewen Macintosh plays Barry, a lackadaisical purchasing manager at a fictional firm. Barry communicates the laughable but also highly recognisable opinion that health and safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) is purely red tape, and shares with viewers his personal take on keeping staff safe.

With the Health and Safety Executive reporting that the construction industry accounts for 74,000 cases of ill health, a fresh approach to health and safety is imperative.

The 3M personal safety division is well placed to understand the issues that health and safety managers face in the UK construction industry. It developed the video campaign after recognising that health and safety personnel were being challenged on their PPE decisions by other colleagues in their organisation.

The Wise Choices campaign aims to help companies understand the various maticulous considerations that take place when it comes to occupational health and safety. Comprising a series of 10 short videos, each Wise Choices snippet focuses on a different element including legislation, the selection of PPE, safety culture and whether PPE affects productivity in the workplace.

Legislation is particularly important in the construction industry and under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM) there has been a call for urgent improvements in health and safety as it remains a disproportionately dangerous industry. Striking a balance between legislation and project demands can be a daunting task across the industry, which is why 3M personal safety has tailored its content to hone in on these challenges by ensuring construction professionals maintain a compliant business and safe employees.

Robert Green from the personal safety division of 3M said: “The Wise Choices campaign is an amusing insight into a character’s flawed knowledge and awareness around the decisions that he is taking that directly impact the health and safety of his workplace. However, for many it will also echo comments or opinions that they have heard before when a health and safety manager makes a decision which is not adequately supported by every function within the business. We envisage these videos being used as a prompt to ensure all stakeholders take safety decisions seriously.”

To watch the videos and download a free ‘Wise Choices’ pack, visit

Latest issue

April 2020