A New Generation of Health & Safety


A New Generation of Health & Safety

I was recently sent a photo of my 2-year-old granddaughter wearing a hi-vis vest while pretending to mow the lawn with her little plastic lawn mower.

Other than being a super cute photo – something else struck me.

What struck me was that our younger generation are going to automatically do what’s taken years and decades to achieve – and that is actively look after their health and safety.

The seat belt phenomena

Do you remember the time when having to wear seat belts in the car was not compulsory?  Probably very few do!

Yet today, you would not even think of driving away without buckling up – and it’s not the fines and demerit points that make us do it – rather, we now know that a seat belt can minimise the harm that may come to us in an accident.

Let’s talk PPE

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) refers to anything used or worn to minimise the risk of harm ones health and safety.

Examples include hi-vis vests, safety glasses, hard hats, steel capped boots and even car seat belts can be thought of as a form of PPE.

Today you would not be allowed on a work site without proper PPE.

Before this incredibly unique time we’re currently living in, the words Personal Protective Equipment was linked more so with work sites and factories.  PPE was intended to keep harm away from workers.

But – here’s the thing – in our current pandemic climate, every one of us is now responsible for our own health and safety – which in turns helps with the health and safety of others.

If it’s a known fact that PPE can help prevent harm for workers, then why is it that every day, mature and educated people are not doing their bit by wearing PPE (face masks) when out and about to ensure that harm (virus) does not come to them?

This is not a rant or debate about people who choose not to wear a face mask while out in public.

Rather, it’s my observation that I see our younger generation more likely wearing face masks compared to the older age demographic.

A change in attitudes towards health & safety

The recent Black Lives Matters protest were a great example of this.

In these protests, it was the younger generation who attended in the majority – and what was interesting to watch was that most of them  wore face masks and carried hand sanitisers.

This was a great example of them wanting to make a point while at the same time assuming responsibility for their own health and safety.  They chose to do the right thing in terms of their health and wellbeing.

As anyone who knows me, I am passionate about health and safety – not because it’s my job, rather I’m passionate because I sincerely feel that each and every one of us is deserves to go about our daily lives without the fear of harm coming to us.

So, just as it was endearing to see my 2-year old granddaughter ‘mowing’ the lawn in her safety vest, I am equally heartened to see, thanks to our newer generation, that adopting health and safety is the natural thing to do.