With work now underway at 5 star housebuilder William Davis Homes’ brand new development Treetops in Matlock, health & safety manager, Hugh Brennan and apprentice manager Gary Long welcomed the opportunity to visit a local school to highlight some of the issues for children in relation to safety on building sites, as well as launching a special safety poster competition.
A total of 147 pupils, all attending St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, were treated to two presentations, one for Key Stage 1 – children aged 5 to 7 years and another for Key Stage 2 – children aged 7 to 11. Hugh devised a special presentation for each group, including introducing animated characters Ivor Goodsite and Honor Goodsite, together with pictures to help identify site and plant machinery such as diggers and forklift trucks, plus explaining the full range of safety signs so the youngsters had a comprehensive understanding of the dangers and warnings relating to building sites.
“The children were really receptive and particularly enjoyed the sessions where two groups of 12 volunteered to dress up in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), complete with Hi-Viz vests, hard hats, gloves and safety glasses. However, there are some very important messages relating to safety around building sites, for adults as well as children. No matter how enticing or interesting it looks, unaccompanied children must not go near building sites at all and should be wary of being dared to or being bullied into going on a building site – it’s very much a ‘just say no’ situation.” Explained Hugh.
Head Teacher Paul Scully welcomed the visit, saying it will be featured in the next school newsletter to spread these important messages. In addition 12 lucky pupils from the school will be invited on a guided tour of the site in the New Year, again expanding the children’s knowledge of what a building site is and how it works.
Hugh plans to return next term to help judge the poster competition and choose three winners. The winning poster will be turned into a large sign to be displayed on the site’s external fencing – a fine example of the success of the presentation and the ongoing relationship with the school.