HSA marks 200,000 participants in Choose Safety young people at work programme
- Young people (aged 18-24) are 50% more likely to be injured at work than any other group of workers (EU Agency for Safety and health at Work)
- Young people as new recruits are at higher risk of workplace injury (ESRI)
The Health and Safety Authority today (Wednesday 5th September) celebrated 200,000 plus learners over ten years of its flagship programme Choose Safety, which is aimed at post-primary senior cycle students and students in further education. Choose Safety aims to prepare young people with skills for the world of work through educating them about safety, health and welfare.
More than 28,000 students participated in the Choose Safety programme in Transition Year, Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA), Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) and across further education settings, in the 2017/2018 academic year. A total of 647 institutions were involved last year and that included 63% of post-primary schools nationwide. Within further education, the programme is taught to growing numbers of students on plc courses, courses at Levels 4 and 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications, within Youthreach, and the National Learning Network.
Speaking at a seminar to mark the occasion, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority, Dr. Sharon McGuinness said that the success of the programme comes from the wide recognition that safety, health and welfare is a core concern within employment and that young people need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities around safety, health and welfare at work.
Dr. McGuinness said, “Young people, as new recruits, are at a higher risk of workplace injury than their more experienced colleagues. Their lack of experience, combined with being new to the world of work can leave them exposed and vulnerable to workplace accidents and injuries. They need a good common sense grounding in what it means to look after themselves and those around them in the workplace. The Choose Safety programme supports young people to develop a ‘safety first mind-set’ before they reach the workplace. This also makes a lot of sense for employers who are responsible for managing workplace safety and health and recruiting these young people.”
Choose Safety consists of safety, health and welfare programme texts for teachers and students, which are supplied, free of charge to schools/further education settings. It includes a free elearning course ‘Get Safe – Work Safe’ which can be found at https://hsalearning.ie. The programme is coordinated locally by the 21 fulltime Education Centres and is rolled out from Kilkenny Education Centre. Certificates of completion can be awarded as well as online digital badges for any units completed.
Margaret Maxwell, Director of Kilkenny Education Centre said, “Choose Safety gives students the opportunity to explore core principles of health and safety as it applies in their current or future work experience or workplaces. These are essential life skills for young people and the Education Centre network is committed to promoting this most valuable programme in schools. Choose Safety is designed to assist teachers in delivering key senior cycle skills such as good communication, critical thinking, working with others and being personally effective.”
Schools/FE centres wishing to participate in the Choose Safety programme should contact their local education centre or the HSA at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Kilkenny Education Centre at email@example.com or 056- 056-7760202.