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Whitley Park School pupils get a lesson in health and safety

Pupils from Whitley Park School in Reading donned safety glasses, hard hats and hi-visibility jackets as they learnt all about staying safe around building sites at a health and safety presentation by Morgan Sindall.

The company is currently carrying out a £2.2 million scheme to build two new single-storey extensions and refurbish some of the existing buildings at the school. With much of the work scheduled to take place during term time, Morgan Sindall safety, health and environmental advisor Chris Garrow and project manager Stewart Forbes visited pupils at the school to ensure they knew how to keep safe as the new facilities take shape.

During the visit, Chris and Stewart outlined the possible dangers that a building site can present and explained what can happen to children if they ignore safety warnings. They also gave the pupils the opportunity to try on some of the special protective clothing worn by the team carrying out the work. Chris and Stewart were also joined by Ivor Goodsite, the mascot of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, to help reinforce the safety message.

“Giving pupils the chance to try on health and safety clothing is a fun way of helping them to understand that construction sites are potentially extremely hazardous places,” explains Chris. “We carry out similar events at schools across the country to get the message across to children that although construction sites might look like a great place to have an adventure, they are definitely not playgrounds.”

“The children loved meeting Ivor in school and the interactive presentations were both enjoyable and gave a serious message,” says headteacher Ann Tanner. “I recommend Ivor’s website as being well worth a visit to reinforce the important messages to children about the dangers and hazards of building sites. A competition was held and children produced good quality drawings of Ivor and the winners received lovely prizes. Every child from Year 2 onwards has also received a site safety puzzle book. I am really pleased that health and safety is given top priority; our children are learning so much from having the builders here on site.”

Work at the school is due to complete this summer.