Defending health and safety decisions is about to become easier in the food and beverage industry as the Personal Safety Division of diversified technology company 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 recognisible 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 (HSE) reporting that 19,000 workers in the food and beverage industry suffer from ill health caused or made worse by work every year, a fresh approach to health and safety is imperative.

3M Personal Safety Division is well placed to understand the issues that health and safety managers face in the UK food and beverage 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 ten 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.

Selection may be of particular interest to Food & Beverage professionals as it can be a daunting task due to the need to balance worker safety with the strict workplace requirements due to high product contamination and infection risks.

Every year 3M invest hundreds and thousands of hours and millions of dollars into finding new ways to marry health and safety proficiency with industry demands. As a result 3M is able to offer products which are fully traceacble as well as conforming to the relevant safety requirements and can help customers navigate the options available to ensure that they select the best product for their application.

Adele Wills 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.

“In the Personal Safety Division, we have made protecting individuals in the workplace our sole mission for over 40 years, and we want to communicate to customers not only the risks in the workplace, but also the risks posed when individuals have a lack of knowledge or awareness in protecting the workforce.”

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

Tel: 0870 60 800 60


Twitter: @3M_UK

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