The Home Depot
Making safety matter

The Home Depot had created numerous associate injury-reducing programs over the years—resulting in the overall associate safety program to become fragmented and inconsistent. We worked with The Home Depot to consolidate these programs under one safety umbrella program with consistent branding and communication to the associates.

Our audience

There are over 213,500 active associates. This audience is diverse in terms of age, gender, race, education and other demographics. Planet Studio conducted a series of individual and group interviews to determine current associate safety knowledge and general attitudes towards the various existing programs. We went out on the floor to see how associates were performing various duties. This lead to a simplified and tailored safety process that targeted specific problem areas unique to the various departments.

Associates awareness dial

Time for a change

The Home Depot needed to change associate behavior to recognize the idea that Safety is as important—if not more so—than productivity. They wanted the associates to work as a team and address issues with management whenever they had questions. Several process-focused safety initiatives were already in place. But incident data revealed that associate injuries resulted from overexertion and failure to use proper equipment and techniques.

After identifying the areas of disconnect between associate behavior and best practices, our focus became how associates used their bodies to perform daily tasks and why some equipment was not being utilized. Together, Planet Studio and The Home Depot identified four buckets that would address incident prevention, ranging from individual physical readiness to situations when teaming up is the best solution.

Crafting a common language

The first step was to create an umbrella program that would encompass and replace all the various existing programs. “Safety Matters” was chosen to convey the overall commitment The Home Depot makes to ensure their associates’ safety. This campaign incorporated the best elements of the existing safety programs with an associate driven focus.

The campaign was deployed with a starter kit of materials and an introducing training video. The four areas, or safety steps, helped to establish a revived culture of associate safety awareness. We gained traction with a series of concise video modules that addressed department specific safety issues. These were not only filmed with associates, but their input directly influenced the content. Consistent dialogue and messaging helped to build continuity in the stores and change the way associates approached personal safety.

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