Date: 20th June 2017

Venue:     Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale

At a joint committee meeting of South Cumbria & North Lancashire IOSH District and South Cumbria Health & Safety Group (SCOHSG) James said that he had been approached by a senior member of staff from Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale about the possibility of our safety group running a series of health and safety sessions for pupils who were about to go out on work experience. She told James that the school was organising a dedicated training day for these pupils. They planned to cover a range of topics, selected to help pupils gain maximum benefit from their work placements, and wanted the day to include a health and safety session run by safety professionals.

Committee members, Carol and Val agreed that this was a worthwhile project that they would like to support, so, with James, they set about preparing a training session that they hoped would be both enjoyable and informative. They then discovered that they were committed to run seven sessions, each with 28 pupils; a slightly daunting prospect!

They decided that it was important for these sessions to be interactive with practical challenges to help reinforce the pupils’ understanding of risk assessment as something that they did every day and then relate that to process to potential health and safety problems in the workplace. The sessions were based on the following framework but each session, although covering the same basic content, varied according to the pupils’ responses to questions posed.

  • What do we mean by good health?
  • Mobile phones – a boon, or a health risk?
  • Why, and when, do we need hand protection? Including a ‘glove off’ challenge.
  • Why, and when, do we need ear protection? Including learning to put ear plugs in correctly.
Pupils learning how to put earplugs in correctly
  • Why, and when, do we need lung protection?
James shows pupils different types of dust masks

At the end of each session James, Carol and Val gave pupils a final challenge. They asked them to choose ONE of the topics discussed and then to think of ways of explaining the health and safety message to their friends in a way that would be meaningful to them. They were given the option of creating a video clip (up to three minutes), a web page, a poster or any using any other media form that they thought would be effective.

James explained that one entry per class would be selected by the school and forwarded to him and then, an overall winner will be chosen by Mark Dawson, HSE Head of Operations NW, at our safety group’s September meeting.

James, Carol and Val hope that the pupils enjoyed their day as much as they did. They also hope that some of what they were shown will be remembered!


James Woolgrove FIIRSM ICIOB, Chairman, South Cumbria Occupational Health & Safety Group (SCOHSG)

Carol Stearne CMIOSH, OSHCR, Treasurer, South Cumbria & North Lancashire IOSH District

Valerie Kennedy BA(Hons) CMIOSH Joint Programme Secretary & Web Champion

Work Experience pupils training day