HSE: Child safety education
Educational materials for children and vocational learners
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for keeping people safe while at work. Most of their focus is on adults but child safety is also of paramount importance. The HSE asked us to work on two very different projects – one for primary school children and another for much older vocational learners (17-21 year olds). We jumped (very carefully, of course!) at the chance.
For primary schools, we wrote and illustrated a poem – all about the dangers of playing in workplaces, such as farms in rural areas and building sites in urban environments. The poem was displayed across ten, 2m-high banners at events aimed at children. We also created fun activity sheets themed around child safety as a takeaway to reinforce the message in a low key way, and produced lesson plans for teachers to follow up the learnings a couple of weeks after attending the events.
For vocational learners, we tackled the vitally important subject of asbestos in pre-2000 buildings. Prior to the millennium, asbestos was used extensively in buildings, and many young tradespeople are not aware of its dangers. It kills about 20 tradespeople a week, in a slow and painful death.
The HSE wanted something that could be taught in colleges – we suggested a dynamic PowerPoint presentation, a lesson plan, extra activities and a z-fold concertina booklet, including a thought-provoking, graphic novel-style, comic strip. The design had to be engaging, to the point and entertaining to capture the attention of this notoriously easily bored group. Of greatest importance was communicating the message that asbestos is a hidden killer – young tradespeople needed to understand that the substance can have terrible and tragic consequences 30 years down the line.
The HSE was really impressed with all the materials. One Health and Safety Officer (who will remain nameless for reasons that will become obvious) went as far to say: “Absolutely brilliant! I never thought I say that about anything the HSE did, but just brilliant”