Passport to Safety General Information
The Safe Communities Foundation New Zealand (SCFNZ) is a not-for- profit organisation with a vision of “a safe New Zealand becoming injury free”. SCFNZ embraces the World Health Organisations (WHO) Safe Communities approach, which is already operating in New Zealand (NZ) and many countries around the world (for more information visit www.phs.ki.se/csp. Through the International Safe Communities network, SCFNZ has established a strong relationship with the Safe Communities Foundation of Canada (SCF) and Passport to Safety www.passporttosafety.com and the Australian Safe Communities Foundation (ASCF). This relationship has resulted in the SCFNZ securing the rights to distribute SCF’s successful Passport to Safety (P2S) programme in NZ. www.passporttosafety.com/newzealand
What is Passport to Safety?
Passport to Safety is a web–based, self-paced learning and test programme aimed at young people 15-24 years, who are preparing to enter the part-time/casual work force for the first time. The programme can be taken on an individual basis or as part of a co-ordinated approach through a range of avenues such as schools or workplaces with an option to resit two years later. This programme highlights the individual’s rights and responsibilities regarding safety in the workplace, a method by which to address these issues, identification of hazardous situations, and generic handling and ergonomic requirements.
Successful participants are awarded a "Passport to Safety" that can be attached to résumés to demonstrate their basic awareness of workplace health and safety. This basic level of awareness becomes the foundation on which to build all the other knowledge required to be safer and healthier workers. Employers and businesses, and indeed a community, can support this culture of safety by encouraging young employees to have this baseline training before acquiring a position with their organisation. The P2S programme is NOT designed to replace employer based induction programmes.
Why P2S is needed
Injury prevention is about a cultural shift in ideas and practices. To achieve this change a range of strategies and environments must be addressed. Shifting the culture of safety includes both an understanding of the incidence and relevance of injury, plus the ability to do something to assist change. A number of web-based interactive programmes have been developed with the express purpose of educating young workers. However, the P2S programme, which provides readily accessible information to this age group, is the only programme which has produced positive outcomes in relation to reductions in rates of workplace death and injury. Since the P2S programme was first rolled out in government schools in Canada there has been a marked reduction in fatalities and injuries of young workers including: 80% reduction in fatal injuries for workers aged under 19 years; 24% reduction in lost time from injuries for workers aged under 19 years; and 12% drop in total injuries for workers aged under 19 years.
Increasing numbers of school age children are employed in the workforce in NZ. It has been the Canadian and Australian experience that young people are more likely to act, speak out or seek help about a workplace issue if they are aware of their basic rights and therefore can determine whether they have been treated in an unjust or unfair way. While comparable NZ data is not available, Australian data indicates that school-age workers are twice as likely to get injured at work compared to older age groups. In NZ we do know that the incidence of workplace injury rates for the 15-24 years is higher than in Australia (Australia 11.6 and NZ 15.2). Additionally the present trend in ACC injury statistics for this NZ age group continues at a higher level, in comparison to international statistics, than other demographic categories. This situation is totally unacceptable. Introduction of the P2S programme could lead to a significant reduction to the injury burden.
How it works
The web-based P2S programme enables students to complete the programme at school or work sites through the issuing of a personal log-on and password. Once the young person has successfully completed the programme they are issued with a “Passport to Safety” acknowledging their effort. The P2S programme provides a unique learning environment where students are faced with questions that challenge them, not only on what they've learned in school, or been told, but what they understand, based on a variety of experiences - school lessons, work experience, information shared by parents and others. Not all questions require students to verify safety "facts"; many are situational, which tests their ability to apply what they know. Students explore and challenge themselves with what they already know - so the P2S test is not just a test - it's a learning tool that’s designed to test their knowledge.
The Passport to Safety programme makes the student work through a series of questions and review on-line materials to reinforce topics they may not be familiar with until they come through with a 100% pass. It delivers a no-fail test, as if an incorrect answer is chosen the student is presented with information to read and is re-tested. Alternatively the information covered by the modules can be taught then the students can sit the test. The test should take no longer than 30 minutes for those with sufficient knowledge.
Students work through the following six modules (lessons) at their own pace:
- Employer Responsibilities
- Worker Rights & Responsibilities
- Hazardous Substances New Organisms Act (HSNO)
- The five hazards (Physical, Ergonomic, Chemical, Psychosocial, Biological)
- Combined Unit 1 (Health & Safety is Part of Work, Workplace Injuries, Protecting Yourself)
- Combined Unit 2 ( Understanding and Controlling Hazards, Personal Protective Equipment, Emergency Procedures)
The safety knowledge gained by students and young people through their participation in P2S could also be incorporated into their home, sporting and travelling environments thus building on the prospect of NZ becoming injury free. As the P2S programme is focussed on improving health and safety outcomes for young people, the resulting impact on New Zealanders’ overall injury burden could be significant.
What do I have to do?
Teachers will be asked to facilitate the programme in their schools. Teachers will be invited to participate in information and training session to provide them with knowledge of the programme, the programme content and an opportunity to log onto the P2S programme prior to their students participating in the pilot. Schools involved will be asked to provide feedback on the programme in relation to its effectiveness in providing students with the knowledge they require in preparing for their entry into the workplace as well as providing a brief report detailing reach and uptake of the P2S programme in their school. For further information and to be come involved in this initiative please contact Safe Communities Foundation New Zealand.
The programme content has been converted from the International P2S programme to meet New Zealand legislation and education conditions. The Passport to Safety New Zealand website went live in January 2007, www.passporttosafety.com/newzealand. Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has sponsored 2000 passports and Department of Labour sponsored 1000 passports, for initial implementation of the programme in New Zealand.
The inaugural training took place in New Plymouth March 2007 with two high schools and an education organisation. Over 500 passports were distributed, with these students expected to complete the P2S programme by October 2007. The first students sat the P2S NZ test and programme at Waitara High Taranaki March 2007, and were awarded their Passport to Safety. Initial feedback has been very positive from students and facilitators.
Since this intial training both Waitakere City and North Shore City have attending training sessions, and began working with students through the Passport to Safety programme.
SCFNZ continues to engage partners for ongoing support in other communities. As of August 2007 Palmerston North are planning training session within their communities.