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Inspiring Interserve to be the safest company in our industry

22nd October 2019

Inspiring Interserve to be the safest company in our industry - Karen HewittInspiring Interserve to be the safest company in our industry

By Karen J. Hewitt, Group HSE Manager (Behavioural Change) at Interserve

Interserve has given me the opportunity of a lifetime to promote health and safety to a global audience on a scale I’d never previously experienced.


My former job involved leading a successful Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Culture Change programme for a large engineering and construction company. I left in May 2018 because I’d launched my first book – “Employee Confidence – the new rules of Engagement” and was looking forward to consultancy roles to help me spread my ideas.

However, unexpectedly a recruitment agency called to discuss a full-time permanent job role. Not any old job role, but one with the remit of designing and delivering a customised behavioural safety programme from scratch.

And not just for any old company, but one of the biggest and most diverse companies with a global workforce of around 60,500, twice that of my previous employer, and a significant footprint in industries as diverse as facilities management, construction and public services.

That company was Interserve.

Fast forward just over a year from the day I started the job and Interserve now has its own HSE Culture Change programme designed to push the boundaries of what is possible in Health and Safety. The aim is for Interserve to be the safest company in our industry.

When people work together, anything is possible.

With some good upfront research, support from senior management, cross-functional alliances and some excellent communications, our programme launched - based on a set of simple and practicable HSE leadership habits.

The aim is to get everyone to adopt them, regardless of where they work in Interserve, even right out into our supply chain. That is because there is one thing we know for sure: success is the result of many individual behaviours taking place day in day out.

Designing and building our One Interserve HSE Culture programme alongside so many talented allies has been a privilege.

The training has already been completed by the Executive Team and 500 senior managers and colleagues across the company.

This week I’m presenting it at the first of our construction supply chain forums.

Last week I helped launch it in our Spanish facilities management operation.

It seems that a passion for doing what is right and caring for our people is a winner in any language.

What a difference a year makes!

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