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Producing a Broadcast-Quality Learning Drama for Anglo American’s Global ‘Zero Harm’ Health & Safety Initiative

About Anglo American

Anglo American is a leading multinational mining company, headquartered in London. It is the world’s largest producer of platinum, as well as a major producer of diamonds, copper, nickel, and iron. 

With 90,000 employees globally, and a focus on responsible, sustainable mining, Anglo American sought help from LEO Learning in 2017 to produce a broadcast-length learning video.

The Challenge

Health and safety is critically important in the mining industry, where lives are literally on the line. Anglo American, passionate in its pursuit of a ‘zero harm’ goal among 90,000 staff worldwide, wasn’t afraid to ask difficult questions of its current standards and procedures.

The organization wanted to continue to improve and positively change workplace behavior, both at an individual and systemic level. To do this, it needed to introduce learning that would probe safety issues, while increasing empathy among employees for their co-workers.

The Solution

To support Anglo American’s vision, it commissioned LEO Learning to develop two drama-led learning resources. One was aimed at frontline staff, following a more traditional branching scenario approach.

The second required a more nuanced approach, as Anglo American challenged LEO to produce something more unusual. Keen to explore the latest thinking around safety and how highly complex system factors can affect safety at the frontline, both parties recognized that these topics couldn’t be addressed effectively through more traditional eLearning approaches. 

Instead, the learning points were embedded in a textured and credible story that was then used to generate discussion throughout the organization.

To achieve this, a LEO Learning team flew from the UK to South Africa to film a full broadcast-length drama that dives deeper into the root causes of safety issues on mines. Local actors were hired and the shoot took place on a mine, just outside Johannesburg.

In the drama video, viewers follow a fictional site manager on a journey of reflection and learning—mirroring the path that Anglo American wanted its staff to take when thinking about safety. Using a longer-form, fully developed story in broadcast format for the drama video enabled a meaningful exploration within the content and enabled further discussion after viewing.

The Results

The video itself is followed by facilitated discussions to further explore the intellectual and emotional resonance of the content. The blended learning program received high praise from employees and the broader mining community. 

Industry stakeholders described it as best practice learning for the sector, and the gripping drama resonated powerfully with both time-poor frontline workers and those at an executive level. One key industry stakeholder even described the learning as “probably the best example of behavioral communication that I have seen in my 10 years in the industry”.

Want a closer look at the video? Take a look at the introduction below.

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