What can Winnie the Pooh teach us about Health and Safety?

This may seem like a strange question at first, but there are more similarities between the characters in Hundred Acre Wood and health and safety than you might think. To mark Winnie the Pooh Day on 18th January, we wanted to take a closer look at our namesake to see what we could learn from its inhabitants.

Let’s consider the characters of Hundred Acre Wood. Winnie the Pooh; dependable, easy-going and a friend to everyone. Christopher Robin; a sensible boy with a voice of reason. Eeyore; a depressed soul with a woeful attitude. Tigger; enthusiastic, lively and full of fun. Rabbit; a perfectionist who always follows rules. Piglet; an obedient character who loves order and decency.

But what’s this got to do with your organisation, and in particular, health and safety?

Chances are you can relate these characters to your members of staff. Your MD probably resembles Christopher Robin, you’ll more than likely have at least one negative employee who can’t see the benefit of change like Eeyore and you’re bound to have a new starter who’s incredibly eager with bundles of energy, like Tigger.

Just as in Hundred Acre Wood, there’ll be different personalities within your health and safety team who’ll need to work together to comply with legislation and make sure everyone works towards the same common goal – making sure everyone gets home safely and in the same mental and physical state as they arrived at work in. On a much larger scale, there’ll be numerous personalities in your workforce so the health and safety team will need to consider all the different characteristics and traits when drawing up their health and safety policies and procedures.

A diverse mix of people make an organisation work, but whatever industry you’re in, you’ll always need a Winnie the Pooh. We like to think of Winnie the Pooh as the health and safety champion, looking out for the welfare of others and being a dependable, friendly point of contact that people are happy to turn to.

The main lesson we can learn from Hundred Acre Wood is teamwork is key, but it’s not always easy to get everyone on board. Eeyore, for example, is clearly depressed and struggles to find the energy or the motivation to be part of the team. This doesn’t stop the rest of the characters from involving him though, which is a lesson we can all learn about mental health – no one should feel isolated in their workplace.

Hundred Acre’s founder and director, Bridget Gilmour, explains: “Hundred Acre is my safe place and the diversity of characters in the place I took inspiration for the name from is just like the world I work. A great safety management system involves input from all sorts of characters and roles just as the adventures in Hundred Acre Wood. Everyone working together towards the same goal no matter of their different characters or opinions along the way.”

If our comparison of Hundred Acre Wood and health and safety has got you thinking, or if you have any questions about how we can help in your organisation, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us today on +44 (0) 1933 201103 or via our feedback form.

Happy Winnie the Pooh Day!

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