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Safety Awards winners

Attached are several media releases about the winners at this afternoon's New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards.

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MEDIA RELEASE
1 SEPTEMBER 2008
STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1900, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 – they do not know of their success so please do not contact them until this time

MAKING SUMMER FUN SAFE FUN PICKS UP RECOGNITION AS AN EMERGING COMMUNITY HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMME
Distracting kids from their summer fun for long enough to absorb a few key summer safety messages is no easy task, but on Auckland’s North Shore the ‘Make it a Safe Summer Campaign’ took up the challenge and succeeded.

Free fake tattoos and a couple of giant beach balls helped and now ShoreSafe Injury Free and North Shore City’s programme has been highly commended at this year’s New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards.
The awards were held in Wellington this evening [September 1, 5pm] and are part of ACC’s Safety NZ Week. The ‘Make it a Safe Summer Campaign’ was entered in the category congratulating an ‘Emerging community safety and/or injury prevention initiative or programme’.
There are more than 40 kilometres of coastline in the North Shore City Council area making it one of the region’s biggest assets. But over the 2003/2004 period there were five beach drownings.

That prompted the council to begin a programme of beach patrols, with staff and volunteers on the ground promoting general safety. Since its inception in 2005 the programme has grown in focus to include boating and alcohol, road safety, food safety, graffiti, litter and dog safety.

The annual summer campaign has partnered with Mairangi Surf Life Saving Club, the region’s only surf club, where guards are now paid for patrolling in peak times. Since 2005 there have been no further drownings. Instead the number of safety interventions – where life guards and volunteers anticipate dangerous behaviour and stop it – has almost doubled to more than 3000 a year, reflecting the programme’s proactive nature.

“The campaign’s success has been its collaborative approach with a growing number of agencies working together,” said Warwick Robertson from the North Shore City Council. “It makes sense. It’s not rocket science. If you’ve got the people on the ground why have them working in isolation when they can work together?”

Along with the council and the surf club, there are eight other agencies involved in the ‘Make it a Safe Summer’ campaign. These include WaterSafe Auckland, Coastguard Boating Education, Maritime NZ, Auckland Regional Public Health Services, Shoresafe, NZ Police, the Cancer Society and ACC.

A key element of the campaign is having staff and volunteers on the ground at community events to make direct contact with the public, and to deliver key safety messages one-on-one.

“This works particularly well with kids,” said Warwick Robertson. ”Our staff are out on beaches and in parks. They’re giving away free rub-off tattoos and they have these two huge beach balls. We encourage the kids to play and it gives staff a chance to connect with them.”

The groundwork is supported by promotional material and advertising carrying short and punchy safety messages. On dog safety, for example, for kids it’s ‘Ask Before You Pat’ and for owners it’s ‘Not Everyone Likes a Dog’. For water safety the message is a sobering “Drowning is Silent, Supervise.”

For more on Safety NZ Week and the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards, please go to: http://www.homesafety.co.nz/Awards.aspx

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MEDIA RELEASE
1 SEPTEMBER 2008
STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1900, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 – they do not know of their success so please do not contact them until this time

MAKING SUMMER FUN SAFE FUN PICKS UP RECOGNITION AS AN EMERGING COMMUNITY HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMME
Distracting kids from their summer fun for long enough to absorb a few key summer safety messages is no easy task, but on Auckland’s North Shore the ‘Make it a Safe Summer Campaign’ took up the challenge and succeeded.

Free fake tattoos and a couple of giant beach balls helped and now ShoreSafe Injury Free and North Shore City’s programme has been highly commended at this year’s New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards.
The awards were held in Wellington this evening [September 1, 5pm] and are part of ACC’s Safety NZ Week. The ‘Make it a Safe Summer Campaign’ was entered in the category congratulating an ‘Emerging community safety and/or injury prevention initiative or programme’.
There are more than 40 kilometres of coastline in the North Shore City Council area making it one of the region’s biggest assets. But over the 2003/2004 period there were five beach drownings.

That prompted the council to begin a programme of beach patrols, with staff and volunteers on the ground promoting general safety. Since its inception in 2005 the programme has grown in focus to include boating and alcohol, road safety, food safety, graffiti, litter and dog safety.

The annual summer campaign has partnered with Mairangi Surf Life Saving Club, the region’s only surf club, where guards are now paid for patrolling in peak times. Since 2005 there have been no further drownings. Instead the number of safety interventions – where life guards and volunteers anticipate dangerous behaviour and stop it – has almost doubled to more than 3000 a year, reflecting the programme’s proactive nature.

“The campaign’s success has been its collaborative approach with a growing number of agencies working together,” said Warwick Robertson from the North Shore City Council. “It makes sense. It’s not rocket science. If you’ve got the people on the ground why have them working in isolation when they can work together?”

Along with the council and the surf club, there are eight other agencies involved in the ‘Make it a Safe Summer’ campaign. These include WaterSafe Auckland, Coastguard Boating Education, Maritime NZ, Auckland Regional Public Health Services, Shoresafe, NZ Police, the Cancer Society and ACC.

A key element of the campaign is having staff and volunteers on the ground at community events to make direct contact with the public, and to deliver key safety messages one-on-one.

“This works particularly well with kids,” said Warwick Robertson. ”Our staff are out on beaches and in parks. They’re giving away free rub-off tattoos and they have these two huge beach balls. We encourage the kids to play and it gives staff a chance to connect with them.”

The groundwork is supported by promotional material and advertising carrying short and punchy safety messages. On dog safety, for example, for kids it’s ‘Ask Before You Pat’ and for owners it’s ‘Not Everyone Likes a Dog’. For water safety the message is a sobering “Drowning is Silent, Supervise.”

For more on Safety NZ Week and the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards, please go to: http://www.homesafety.co.nz/Awards.aspx

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MEDIA RELEASE
1 SEPTEMBER 2008
STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1900, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 – they do not know of their success so please do not contact them until this time

WALKING TO SCHOOL IS BACK IN FASHION AS AUCKLAND’S ‘TRAVELWISE FOR SCHOOLS’ TAKES A TOP SPOT AT NATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS
Thousands of children across Auckland are reclaiming the footpaths and walking to school safely thanks to ‘TravelWise for Schools’, a winner at this evening’s New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards.
The awards are supported by ACC and were held in Wellington this evening [September 1, 5pm] at the start of ACC’s Safety NZ Week.
Led by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), TravelWise focuses on encouraging all Aucklanders to think about their transport options and choose to walk, cycle, take public transport or carpool, rather than drive themselves around the city.

A major part of the TravelWise programme are the School Travel Plans (STPs), which are developed by ARTA, the local council and schools. These STPs aim to encourage parents to make more sustainable choices when taking their children to school. TravelWise’s work around STPs has jointly won the award for ‘Outstanding community safety and/or injury prevention initiative or programme’.

Marlborough Clued-up Kids, which teaches safety skills to primary school children using real-life scenarios, was the other joint winner.

Stephen Lindfield, ARTA’s Travel Planning Manager, said TravelWise is not anti-car, but with its focus on STPs it seeks to educate parents against “driving without thought.”

“We recognise that some parents have no choice but to drive their kids to school, but at some schools up to 70% of kids arrive by car. We want people to recognise more active forms of transport,” he said.

The greatest barrier to walking is safety, so a crucial element of TravelWise’s STP programme has been the creation of a safe environment around schools. Speed zones, crossing points and improved footpaths, along with clean and safe alleyways, make it physically easier for children to walk or cycle. This is complemented by an education campaign shaped to reflect the region’s cultural, social and economic diversity.

“We had to recognise that one size does not fit all,” Mr Lindfield said. “The programme and its delivery had to be tailored to meet the needs of each community. That has been an exciting part of the programme’s development but also one of the most challenging. The community has to be part of the decision-making process and there has to be a consensus.”

Feedback from the 173 schools engaged in the process has been nothing but positive. Mr Lindfield said one parent told him that their kids are fitter and healthier than they were before the programme started, and teachers have noted that children who walked or biked to school arrived better prepared to learn.

A key aspect to ‘TravelWise for Schools’ has been the creation of more than 240 walking school buses, where parents volunteer to walk groups of children to school. “When you drive, you’re in a sort of vacuum, but when you walk you become part of the community. Our volunteers report feeling respected and proud of their work, and the community as a whole feels closer,” he said.

The ‘TravelWise for Schools’ programme is not just about congestion at the school gate and Stephen Lindfield is glad that parents have taken that on board too.

“If kids adopt sustainable ideas around transport choices early in life, they are likely to keep making those choices as adults. It’s not just the health of the individual that benefits, but the community as a whole because it will see air quality improve and pollution reduce.”

The ‘TravelWise for Schools’ programme has already cut the number of morning car journeys by 4,500 each day. With the aim of providing every school in the region with a travel plan by 2014, that number will only continue to grow.

“This initiative takes a very holistic approach, which I am delighted about,” said Dr Carolyn Coggan, Director of the Safe Communities Foundation NZ and head judge at the awards. “It’s about health, wellbeing, safety and sustainability. This project isn’t just about getting children fitter and healthier, it’s also about making it safer for them to walk and bike to school.”

TravelWise is a programme run by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) in partnership with the Auckland Regional Council, the New Zealand Transport Agency, the Ministry of Health, Roadsafe Auckland, Auckland City Council, Franklin District Council, Manukau City Council, North Shore City Council, Papakura District Council, Rodney District Council and Waitakere City Council.

For more on Safety NZ Week and the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards, please go to: http://www.homesafety.co.nz/Awards.aspx

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MEDIA RELEASE
1 SEPTEMBER 2008
STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1900, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 – they do not know of their success so please do not contact them until this time

PROGRAMME TO MAKE MARLBOROUGH’S KIDS MORE ‘CLUED UP’ ON SAFETY TAKES A TOP SPOT AT SAFETY AWARDS
Marlborough’s push to make its children more ‘clued up’ about safety has won the region a top award at this year’s New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards.

The awards were held this evening in Wellington tonight [September 1, 5pm] and are supported by ACC as part of Safety NZ Week. The Marlborough Child Safety Group’s ‘Clued-up Kids’ programme jointly won the ‘Outstanding community safety and/or injury prevention initiative or programme’. The ‘TravelWise for Schools’ programme in Auckland shared the win.

Clued-up Kids has seen 1000 Year 5 and 6 children go through the course in a two year period, while 500 more are due to go through it later this year. A pilot of the programme, which originated in StrathClyde, Scotland, was trialed in the area in 2006.

The programme is taught during school time and focuses on giving children a variety of safety strategies to use in different situations, particularly around personal safety and crime prevention. Those strategies are taught to small groups of children using eight real-life scenarios.

Various agencies, businesses and community groups got involved to teach the children the skills to deal with each scenario. These included the local council, Toll New Zealand, FarmSafe, St John, Police, Public Health Unit, Marlborough Roads, the New Zealand Fire Service and ACC. The scenarios covered water safety, emergency response, offender identification, rail safety, ATV safety, safe cycling, and house of hazards.

Monica McKone from the Marlborough Child Safety Group said the programme is entirely interactive. “Clued-up Kids is about experiential learning. There is not a single pen or book in sight and – best of all – they get to complete the course in groups of eight, independent of a teacher. The kids just lapped it up.”

The programme was largely taught at Blenheim’s historic Brayshaw Park. “It was the perfect setting with its historic buildings, machines and even a railway station. That’s important because the main trunk line cuts through a few of the region’s main town roads so rail safety is a big issue,” Ms McKone said.

“It’s about teaching self responsibility. You never know when a child might be in one of these situations on their own and need to make independent decisions confidently.”

But she said it’s not about scaring the children or challenging them physically. “It’s about encouraging their thinking about safety in a safe environment. Of the eight sets, each gets positive feedback from the children. But one of their favourites is the Smoke House, which is a simulated fire situation with zero visibility. The kids have to get down and get out. We’re teaching them potentially life-saving skills but in a proactive, hands-on way.”

The idea to run the programme came from an information gathering of the area’s safety groups.

“All the groups were independent but were connected through wanting to make our area safer for our community and particularly for children,” Monica McKone said. “At this coffee-and-muffins meeting we decided to set up a collective safety group aimed at educating our region’s young people by working collaboratively on a safety programme.

“The beauty of living in a community of about only 40,000 is that we can look at the big picture but implement it on a small scale. We also have a really strong community base, so programmes like Clued-up Kids work well here.”

Ms McKone said the children are all encouraged to become advocates for safe behaviour and pass on the messages to those around them – and that includes grown-ups.

“Through Clued-up Kids they’ve learned so many great safety tips and skills that we want them help others too, even if that’s telling their parents to do up their life jacket nice and tight!”

Dr Carolyn Coggan, Director of the Safe Communities Foundation NZ and the Awards’ chief judge congratulated the group on being so proactive about children’s safety.

“The safety of our children can never be over-stated, whether at school, at home or on the streets. This programme has already shown to be effective in that the children exhibit increased levels of awareness about safety issues and have also retained the skills they’ve learned in how to deal with those situations. The programme covers a wide range of subjects, but it could easily be extended to deal with other issues as appropriate.”

For more on Safety NZ Week and the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards, please go to: http://www.homesafety.co.nz/Awards.aspx

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MEDIA RELEASE
1 SEPTEMBER 2008
STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1900, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 – they do not know of their success so please do not contact them until this time

TAURANGA’S PORT DROPS INJURY RATES AND PICKS UP RECOGNITION FOR COLLABORATIVE HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMME
With approximately 3,000 people employed at the Port of Tauranga but working for many different companies, the Port’s combined approach to health and safety is a life-saver.

The Port of Tauranga has been highly commended at this year’s New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards in recognition of its work to make the port a safer place to work – whether the employee works there full-time or not.
The New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards were held in Wellington this evening [September 1, 5pm] and are supported by ACC as part of its Safety NZ Week.
The Port of Tauranga entered its ‘Port Users’ Health and Safety Forum’ in the category recognising an ‘Outstanding community safety and/or injury prevention initiative or programme’.
Implemented in 2004, the Forum is a collaborative systems approach to health and safety in what is a high-risk working environment.

Terry James at the Port of Tauranga said their biggest problem was that of the 3,000 people who work at the port, the Port Authority employs only 150 of them. “That means although we might have robust health and safety guidelines, the majority of the people at the port work for other companies that each have their own views on health and safety.

“In an environment where dangerous equipment is in constant use, that’s a recipe for disaster, and unfortunately injury rates in the past were high. In one incident, a young man died in an accident involving a forklift. He worked for one stevedoring company while the forklift driver worked for another. They were in the same work place, but for different purposes, when their lives collided.”

Mr James said it was evident there needed to be a common set of health and safety rules and standards for all port users, and that would need buy-in from the port’s numerous user groups. Acting as a neutral body, the Port Authority got together with stevedoring and marshalling companies, Maritime Safety New Zealand, the Department of Labour and ACC. They all sat down together and developed a set of common standards and port user protocols.

“We focused on critical areas where fatalities from hazards were acute. The group brainstormed ideas, looked for solutions and agreed on common protocols. That might sound simple, but it wasn’t. However, the results were incredible,” said Mr James. “After just one year there was a 5% decrease in ACC claims, and since the forum began, serious harm incidents at the port have been non-existent.”

“The companies are competitors and they had no contractual obligation to attend or to adhere to the protocols, yet they did so voluntarily. It did take some talk to encourage them not to use health and safety as a point of difference in their employment contracts, but they have taken that on board and are still working together at our monthly meetings more than three years on.

“While the Port company is a focal point for this award, the credit should go to the numerous port users who participate in the forum. They have made the greater concessions and are the initiators of many of the health and safety protocols that the forum has adopted,” Mr James added.

The forum is now down to the nuts and bolts of health and safety. Moving on from reducing risks in areas such as loading, unloading and traffic management, the focus is now on everyday workplace injuries, such as back strains and twisted ankles. The group is confident of the same result with these risk areas.

Dr Carolyn Coggan, Director of the Safe Communities Foundation NZ, said she was very impressed that so many companies were able to work together, especially when they were in competition with each other.

“It’s fantastic to see maritime and port users taking a proactive approach to safety in what is a high-risk area. Port of Tauranga’s collaborative approach can be applied to any port in New Zealand and it would be great to see them take up the initiative.”

For more on Safety NZ Week and the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards, please go to: http://www.homesafety.co.nz/Awards.aspx

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MEDIA RELEASE – for local and parenting media
SEPTEMBER 1 2008

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1900, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 – they do not know of their success so please do not contact them until this time

INJURY PREVENTION HOME VISIT TO KEEP KAWERAU KIDS SAFE IS HIGHLY COMMENDED AT NATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS

An in-home injury prevention programme in the Western Bay of Plenty has built on its success in helping parents create a safer home environment for their children, by succeeding at the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards.

The Kawerau Home Safety for Preschoolers Pilot Project (KHSPPP) provided injury prevention information on falls, poisoning and burns during home visits to 40 homes in Kawerau.

The project has just been announced as “highly commended” at the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards held in Wellington this evening. [September 1, 5pm]. The awards are supported by ACC as part of its Safety NZ Week.

The project was entered in the category rewarding an ‘Outstanding example of the New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy framework guiding the development of a community safety and/or injury prevention initiative or programme’.

The project was developed in partnership by Toi Te Ora Public Health, Plunket, Safe Kawerau Kids Injury Prevention Project (SKKIPP) and Te Manu Toroa.

The Plunket nurses and the SKKIPP coordinator used their home-visiting and relationship skills to deliver injury prevention information to, and encourage behaviour change in, parents and caregivers of preschool children.

One of the project’s primary co-ordinators, Carmen O’Meeghan from Toi Te Ora, said home visits are a very promising way to deliver injury prevention information to parents and create safer home environments for children.

“We couldn’t have carried out the project so well without the skills and commitment of SKKIPP and Plunket’s home visitors. Simply having knowledge about something doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be changes in behaviour. But what can have a dramatic impact on prevention behaviour is delivering that knowledge in someone’s home face-to-face in a diplomatic way. Sometimes all the parent needs to do is make some small changes,” she said.

“This project didn’t focus on what parents and caregivers were doing wrong. Instead, home visitors encouraged positive change by providing parents with clear and easy tips for keeping homes safe for children to live, learn and play. Home visitors then followed up to see what changes the caregivers had made and encouraged further change if necessary.

“The relationship between home visitor and parent was an important component to the success of this project. Because of that, the response from parents and caregivers was fantastic,” Ms O’Meeghan said.

Among the positive behaviour changes were:

Hot water and burns: At the start of the project, 38% of parents knew how to reduce their hot water temperature to be between 50 and 55 degrees at the tap. At the end of the project 73% knew how and had acted to turn the temperature down.

Poisonings: The number of parents who requested medications with childproof lids doubled to 73%. The number of parents choosing cleaning products with child resistant packaging increased from 48% to 73%. Also the use of latches on cupboards increased from 55% to 93%.

Falls: The number of households keeping floors clear of tripping hazards increased from 23% to 93%, and the number of parents who said they would better supervise older children when they held smaller children rose from 60% to 93%.

“We’re really pleased that there has been some interest in our initial programme,” Carmen O’Meeghan said. “Te Manu Toroa (a Kaupapa Maori Health Care Service) have just started it in Tauranga, with the addition of child car restraints, and other hauora in the wider Tauranga area have also shown interest.

Ms O’Meeghan said Phase Two of the initial project is also currently being delivered in Kawerau. This home visiting project incorporates the same model but looks at safe play and child car restraints. It is also hoped that a toolkit encompassing all of these injury prevention issues will be developed so that others can benefit from this promising intervention.

“The really pleasing thing for us is that now so many more children will be safe in the in their homes – an area that accounts for injuries to 60,000 preschoolers each year,” she said.

The New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards’ chief judge, Dr Carolyn Coggan, said the project showed great community cooperation.

“I appreciate how this project was devised in response to a need in the community, and how it showed great cooperation and coordination across several local organisations. This is very much how the New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy envisages community organisations working, so it’s great to see it in action,” she said.

For more on Safety NZ Week and the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards, please go to: http://www.homesafety.co.nz/Awards.aspx

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MEDIA RELEASE – Taranaki media
1 SEPTEMBER 2008

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1900, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 – they do not know of their success so please do not contact them until this time

[editors please note that NPiS does have a lower case ‘i’]

COORDINATED INJURY PREVENTION PROGRAMME TO DROP OLDER FALLS IN TARANAKI PICKS UP TOP SPOT IN AWARDS

A coordinated community approach to preventing falls in Taranaki’s older population has seen a local injury prevention group pronounced a winner at the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards.

The awards are supported by ACC and were held in Wellington this evening [September 1, 5pm] at the start of ACC’s Safety NZ Week.

New Plymouth Injury Safe Trust (NPiS) entered the ‘Taranaki Falls Prevention Strategy’ in the category for an ‘Outstanding example of the New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy framework guiding the development of a community safety and/or injury prevention initiative or programme’.

NPiS’ Channa Perry, who kick-started the work towards the Strategy, said it was clear Taranaki needed some coordination among the various services aimed at preventing falls in older New Zealanders.

“We didn’t have a higher than average number of older falls, but we knew programmes like ACC’s Tai Chi classes and the Otago Exercise Programme (OEP) were undersubscribed. It was clear that older people didn’t know the programmes existed, and that their health professionals weren’t referring them on.”

Ms Perry said to raise awareness of the situation and to see what other services were out there she organised a Falls Seminar on the issue in May 2007. She expected a couple of dozen people – mostly health professionals – to come, but about two hundred people turned up, and more than half were older New Zealanders.

“The response was amazing. From there we formed a Falls Strategy Group that has developed a falls prevention plan to work within the framework of the New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy (NZIPS). The plan will increase collaboration and cooperation between the injury prevention sector and related sectors, such as Sport Taranaki, homecare agencies, primary care etc.

“I really felt the community needed to lead this, so the Falls Strategy Group is made up of about 15 organisations, including three older people who’ve had a fall. And the Taranaki community has got right behind the issue. Since our seminar, interest in falls prevention has snowballed. It seems that every talk we do to a group leads onto another one!”

One direct benefit to come out of the seminar is that now Gold Card holders get half price entry to the Council swimming pool in New Plymouth. “One thing people told us at the meeting was that free or cheaper swimming entry would motivate more of them to get into the pool and keep active. So, with the council’s cooperation, that’s happened.

“Now we want to get funding for a full-time falls prevention coordinator to drive the strategy forward and build on the work we’ve done so far.”

Channa Perry said she hopes whatever programme comes in the future will mirror the success of a home safety programme she worked on the United Kingdom, which cut serious injuries from older falls by more than two-thirds.

“In my region we saw the rates of serious broken hips drop by 66% over two years. That was after a comprehensive falls prevention programme that included education programmes, community exercise classes and cost-subsidized minor adaptations in the home, such as the installation of grab rails.”

Ms Perry said the programme also linked in with fire and crime safety advice so people were getting a comprehensive home safety service.

“It’s too early to pinpoint what falls prevention measures may do in Taranaki, but whatever we can do to keep our older people active and healthy has to be very positive,” she said.

“Falls are the leading cause of hospitalisation in New Zealand and as such are a high priority for the NZIPS and ACC,” said Dr Carolyn Coggan, Director of the Safe Communities Foundation NZ and the awards’ chief judge.

“New Plymouth Injury Safe is also a leader in this area and everything developed by it is based on firstly a needs analysis, and secondly on the identification of measurable outcomes. I particularly congratulate NPiS for fostering leadership with regard to the Taranaki Falls Prevention Strategy, rather than dictating the process,” she said.

This is the third year in a row that NPiS has been singled out in the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards. It was highly commended in 2007 and won its category in 2006.

For more on Safety NZ Week and the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards, please go to: http://www.homesafety.co.nz/Awards.aspx

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MEDIA RELEASE – Auckland media
1 SEPTEMBER 2008

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1900, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 – they do not know of their success so please do not contact them until this time

PUTTING SAFETY OVER DOLLARS GAINS LEADING SIGNAGE COMPANY FINALIST PLACE IN SAFETY AWARDS

An Auckland electronic sign manufacturer’s willingness to put children’s safety over profits has seen it being made a finalist at the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards.

The awards are supported by ACC and were held in Wellington tonight [September 1, 6pm] at the start of ACC’s Safety NZ Week.

HMI Technologies manufactures the “variable message” electronic road signs and scoreboards found on many motorways and in stadiums around the country. It also makes and installs the solar-powered school zone signs that restrict speed around some schools to 40km/h.

Speed limits around most schools are the same as on other parts of the road in the area – in an urban setting this is typically 50km/h. Since 2004 local authorities have had the ability to set speed limits on their own roads, which many have used to introduce variable 40km/h speed limits outside specific schools.

The Waitakere City Council was part of the fight to bring in the restrictions, and led the way by implementing its own voluntary 40km/h school zones. These limits are now compulsory.

“Research has shown that reducing vehicle speeds to 40 km/h or less significantly reduces how badly a child is injured if they are hit by a car, so we were determined to restrict the speeds around our schools,” said the council’s deputy mayor, Penny Hulse.

In the OCED (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) road crashes account for around 40% of all children’s injury-related deaths, with an average rate of 3.5 children per 100,000 people. New Zealand is third from the bottom in the OECD, with 4.8 children killed on the roads per 100,000.

“We dearly wanted the ‘school zone’ signs to go in around all our 67 schools in one year but the signs are expensive [about $18,000 a pair] and we simply didn’t have the budget to do it. So we asked HMI Technologies to put the signs in over three years instead of one,” Ms Hulse said.

HMI’s managing director Ahmed Hikmet knew delaying the signs could cost lives, so he decided to act in the interests of the children and corporate responsibility.

“For us it was obvious. We wanted to give something back to the community that would benefit everyone. And as parents ourselves we know that controlling traffic around schools is very important, so we devised a way we could install all the signs quickly and keep the children safe, without putting financial strain on the council.”

The company offered to install all the signs as quickly as it can, but allow the Waitakere City Council to pay them off over three years. HMI Technologies also gave the council a generous discount.

“We have done similar deals on school zone signs for other councils too,” Mr Hikmet said. “Especially the smaller councils that can’t afford to protect all the schools at once. It’s certainly not profitable, but it’s the morally right thing for us to do.”

“We thought HMI Technologies were just fantastic,” Ms Hulse said. “They have gone well beyond the call to keep our children safe and that means so much to us. So it’s great their commitment to safety has been recognised at the awards.”

HMI has also installed school zone signs for Auckland, North Shore, Whangarei, Hamilton, Lower Hutt and Christchurch City Councils.

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MEDIA RELEASE – Tauranga media + construction
1 SEPTEMBER 2008

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1900, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 – they do not know of their success so please do not contact them until this time

BREADTH OF HEALTH AND SAFETY SEES BAY OF PLENTY’S FLETCHER CONSTRUCTION HIGHLY COMMENDED AT NATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS

A comprehensive approach to health and safety on and off the job has seen the construction company building Tauranga’s Harbour Link highly commended at the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards.

The awards are supported by ACC and were held in Wellington this evening [September 1, 5pm] at the start of ACC’s Safety NZ Week.

Fletcher Construction entered the awards in the section for ‘Outstanding business or organisation that is contributing to the greater well-being of its own workforce and the community in general’. For the awards the company highlighted the health and safety work it has undertaken as it carries out the $160 million infrastructure upgrade in Tauranga.

The Harbour Link – Stage 2 project includes building a new harbour bridge, a viaduct, widening various roadways and the existing harbour bridge, and improving pedestrian and cycle routes.

"As a team and as a company, health and safety is a top priority for us – it has to be,” states Mark Taylor, Fletcher Construction’s Health and Safety Coordinator for the project. “We’ve got 150 permanent workers working close to every possible hazard, even over water and under a flight path for the airport, so we put a lot of time and effort into creating a safety culture amongst our workers.

“A lot of our construction involves working at heights so we’ve run a long campaign about fall protection and height safety training – and it’s worked. Since our ‘Safe Working at Height’ campaign, we've had no major height incidents for 15 months, not even a near miss," he said.

The workers on the project are also part of an international trial of a Hand Arm Vibration monitor. The monitor attaches to each tool a worker uses, picking up the cumulative effect of tools’ vibrations. Once the vibrations tally to a specified maximum, the monitor lights up red telling the operator to stop. This protects the worker from potentially harmful levels of vibration.

The company’s submission also included several other safety measures that have been devised by the workers themselves. For example, one worker designed a truck lifting device that uses a swinging davit to do heavy lifting. Another worker devised a demountable gas storage cage to house potentially dangerous gases at the building site.

Mr Taylor said he’s particularly proud of these innovations. “The worker-generated initiatives are really pleasing to see because it shows we have a strong safety culture working all the way through the organisation."

Fletcher Construction also holds regular health and safety presentations for staff working on the project. Everything from quizzes, to work-plan and risk assessment competitions, to presentations on road safety awareness are used to constantly promote good work practices. Mr Taylor and his wife have even produced original board games with safety themes to get the messages across.

“The games only take 30 minutes so the men can play them in their breaks. Safety is usually seen as a dire subject but this is a way to make it fun, so it goes down really well," Mark Taylor said.

And it’s not just about keeping their workforce safe. Fletcher Construction takes their safety messages into the community too and is also often involved in fundraising for charities, including the Red Cross.

The New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards’ chief judge, Carolyn Coggan said Fletcher Construction’s health and safety programmes are highly organised and efficient.

“I am very impressed with how wide the company has spread its health and safety focus, and how effective it has been in working across its on-site staff and external employees who visit the site. I also applaud the company for taking many of its work safety messages and re-applying them to community and school initiatives, such as its cycling safety and road safety campaigns.”

For more on Safety NZ Week and the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards, please go to: http://www.homesafety.co.nz/Awards.aspx

--

MEDIA RELEASE – Tauranga media + Engineering
1 SEPTEMBER 2008

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1900, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 – they do not know of their success so please do not contact them until this time

EXPANDING WORK SAFETY ETHOS TO COMMUNITY NETS BOP’s FULTON HOGAN TOP SPOT AT NATIONAL ZEALAND SAFETY AWARDS

A willingness to apply the same safety focus to its community as it does to its labour force has netted the Bay of Plenty’s division of Fulton Hogan a top spot at the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards.

The awards are supported by ACC and were held in Wellington this evening [September 1, 5pm] at the start of ACC’s Safety NZ Week. Fulton Hogan won the category for ‘Outstanding business or organisation that is contributing to the greater well-being of its own workforce and the community in general’.

The contracting company is part of Tauranga’s City Partnership Programme and then became involved with Tauranga’s bid to achieve the World Health Organisation’s Safe City designation. Tauranga became New Zealand’s seventh Safe Community last month.

It’s believed Fulton Hogan’s involvement is the first time in the history of the international programme that a private company has been involved in something that’s usually driven by public organisations.

Bay of Plenty Fulton Hogan’s Keith Campbell said the company was “chuffed” to learn that and is very proud to have been involved in the programme.

“It’s a great fit with our own ethos of safety and community input. We all live in Tauranga and have families here, so it made sense for us to support something that made the community we live in safer. Also, our business primarily comes from local authorities, so we wanted to be a good corporate citizen and do something that would support our community.”

Mr Campbell said safety is a “number one priority” for Fulton Hogan, and that focus is paying off as work injuries drop. “We employ about 4000 staff across the company, and over the past year we’ve had only 25 injuries where the person had to take time off. Locally we’ve only had one time lost injury in over 550,000 hours worked in the past twelve months. That’s taken a lot of hard work, but it’s been worth it.”

As its contributions to Tauranga’s Safe City accreditation, Fulton Hogan part-funded the coordinator’s salary and sat on the Steering Committee. The company and its employees also took part in the White Ribbon campaign as advocates for non violence against women, and raised funds during the Heart Stopper Challenge for Heart Children New Zealand.

Fulton Hogan has also financially supported both the Bay of Plenty and Omanu Surf Clubs for the past 18 years.

For its own workers it’s provided annual medicals that also assess workers’ lifestyle, paid for Quit Smoking programmes, nutritional programmes and weight loss competitions for staff, and Sunsmart programmes. It’s also supported after-hours sports teams, along with other special events that focus on fitness, such as the Oxfam 100km walk and local triathlons.

Dr Carolyn Coggan, Director of the Safe Communities Foundation NZ and the Awards’ chief judge congratulated the company.

“Fulton Hogan encourages its staff to contribute positively to their communities. Fulton Hogan is clearly an excellent corporate citizen and has worked very hard to make Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty a safe place to live and work, especially through its valuable contribution to the WHO Safe Community designation.”

For more on Safety NZ Week and the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards, please go to: http://www.homesafety.co.nz/Awards.aspx

--

MEDIA RELEASE – Northland media/NZ Herald and beyond
1 SEPTEMBER 2008

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1900, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 – she does not know of her success so please do not contact her until this time

WHANGAREI BATTLER GETS HARD WORK TO REVAMP COMMUNITY RECOGNISED AT NATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS

When Kim Anderson moved into her brand new Habitat for Humanity home in Whangarei’s Smeaton Drive area, she was elated but also in despair.

She loved her new home, but she hated her new area. The crime, burnt out cars, gangs, drugs, graffiti, domestic violence, street kids and poverty all added up, she said, to an area that had lost hope. It was a community that felt forgotten, and clearly it was a problem that no-one wanted to own.

“When we were building the house you could just feel the distrust and anger in the air. Everything seemed so depressed – there seemed to be no hope. Now, three years later, Smeaton Drive is completely different. We have unity in our community, and we have a future,” she said with obvious satisfaction.

That’s all because this mother of teenage twin boys refused to be intimidated by her new surroundings or by the young men doing burnouts in the street – and worse.

“As I gradually talked to people I realised that many of us were feeling the same way and that we needed to form a community group. So I called a meeting and 10 people came. We formed a committee that had three aims: To improve safety; to beautify our community; and to unify it.”

To date the committee – and the community – has made amazing progress.

So amazing in fact that Ms Anderson has just been highly commended at the New Zealand Community Safety in Injury Prevention Awards held in Wellington this evening [September 1, 5pm]. The awards are supported by ACC and were held at the start of ACC’s Safety NZ Week.

The community barbeque the group held first to introduce neighbour to neighbour has now become an annual event. The dumped cars that were burnt out on a weekly basis no longer turn up. The drugs and gangs are less of a problem. And importantly, Kim Anderson said, the young children are off the street.

“These kids were practically street kids because their parents weren’t home. But now we’ve started up after-school care two days a week in the community hall. It gives the kids somewhere to go, get fed and be safe, and have some adult mentorship. That’s all made a big difference. And as we had to band together to repair the hall – along with the council and Bunnings Warehouse – the community has a sense of ownership.”

In general, she said, the area is cleaner and its population has more respect for what they have.

“We had nothing here – nothing for our people to do, whatever their age. But we’re going to change that by building a Youth Park that will give our young people something to do. It’ll be for families and people of all ages, but it’s really important that our young people have somewhere to go,” Ms Anderson said. “And we’ll be building it ourselves. It’s so important that the whole community is involved in creating it so everyone knows it’s theirs. Funding is always a struggle but, we’ve got a vision, and that vision will be created!”

Another major beautification project on the horizon is aimed at the graffiti infestation. The 400 metre fence around the Bunnings Warehouse building that was a magnet for taggers is due to have mural painted on it in October.

“About 100 people in the community got together in December last year and had a “Paint Out Day”. We painted the whole thing and got rid of all the nasty graffiti. And it has barely been touched by taggers since. If it is, that’s no problem; we simply paint it out again. But when the weather improves we’ll paint a mural on the 100 metre stretch of fence that borders Smeaton Drive. We’re using ideas put forward from our after school programme, Te Maiatanganui, locals, and the local school, using their core values and showing images from the past, present and future.

“People have said to me, ‘Why do you want to do that? It’ll just be tagged again.’ But I say ‘If we think like that, nothing will get done.’ So we’re going to push ahead. And if it gets tagged, we’ll sort it out.”

The Bunnings wall isn’t the end of Kim Anderson’s war on graffiti. With other volunteers she’s trialling a measure supported by the Whangarei District Council where she carries a pot of paint in her car and if she sees graffiti she paints over it.

“The paint’s mushroom, or pink, so I’m sorry if that’s not what your fence is painted! But it’s better than graffiti. What I’m really proud of is that many of the measures we’ve taken here to clean up our community – both of crime and vandalism – are being looked at to see if they can be used in other areas around Northland and further afield.”

Among Ms Anderson’s and her committee’s other recent wins are successfully lobbying the council for a new footpath to keep mums and children safe as they walk to school. This was done a few months ago, with trees and debris also cleared along the footpath on State Highway One to keep pedestrians safe. The group also organised self-defence and violence prevention workshops for women.

Smeaton Drive is now a good place to live, according to Kim Anderson, where neighbours know and trust each other. Although she’s the one singled out at the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards it’s been a huge team effort, she said. “Somebody had to make a stand, but it takes a whole community to make such a difference!”

For more on Safety NZ Week and the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards, please go to: http://www.homesafety.co.nz/Awards.aspx

--

MEDIA RELEASE – CM / Auckland media
1 SEPTEMBER 2008

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1900, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 – he does not know of their success so please do not contact him until this time

COUNTIES MANUKAU’S FIRE SAFETY OFFICER FINALIST IN NZ SAFETY AWARDS

George Stephens isn’t absolutely sure he saved a single life during his 23 years as a firefighter, but he’s certain he’s saved quite a few during his 13 years as a fire safety officer.

Mr Stephens is the Fire Safety Officer for Counties Manukau in Auckland, but to the grateful recipients of his skill, advice and good humour, he’s a lifesaver. And now his great works have been recognised at the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards, where he was highly commended as an individual who’s made a significant contribution to the safety of his community.

The awards are supported by ACC and were held in Wellington this evening [September 1, 5pm] at the start of ACC’s Safety NZ Week.

“I’ve seen everything during my time as a firefighter,” George Stephens said, remembering the many house fires he’s attended. “And for every one of those deaths or injuries I saw I always thought ‘this didn’t have to happen – this could’ve been prevented’. That’s why my passion is in community education, especially here in South Auckland. It’s fighting fires before they start.”

But the area isn’t without its challenges. “We’ve got a tenth of New Zealand’s population here and a total of 160 different ethnic groups. But the fire safety message is getting across. This area used to have one of the worst records in Auckland for fires and fatalities, but now it’s one of the better areas. However, one fire is still one too many.”

Mr Stephens said a lot of the good work has come from the community, particularly the ‘Community Safety Ambassadors’. They make home visits, then may refer people to the Fire Service. The Fire Service then follows up with their own visit and installs smoke alarms where needed.

However, he said educating the community about fire safety is about far more than simply installing smoke detectors – something he reckons he’s done at least 3000 times in the past 10 years alone.

“Putting in smoke alarms is great in the short-term but it doesn’t teach people about fire safety or encourage them to be proactive. There’s little point installing a smoke alarm in someone’s house if all they’re going to do is wait for you to come back and change the batteries.”

But he does know of instances when an alarm he installed probably saved lives, including that of an elderly diabetic lady whose kitchen went on fire. “She was blind and had mobility issues, so couldn’t get out. But luckily her neighbours heard the alarm and rescued her.

“However, teaching fire safety is far more effective when people have to help themselves, so a large part of my job is ensuring people have the tools and information to do that.”

To that end, George Stephens is a familiar sight around South Auckland, especially when he’s got his kitchen trailer in tow. He uses it to make a very visual demonstration of how not ‘looking when you’re cooking’ can go horribly wrong.

“I set a pot of cooking oil on fire and then I demonstrate how to control the flames – a wooden chopping board, pot lid, or damp tea-towel is best. And then I make it flare up again by adding water. It’s very dramatic! And I know it works. Everywhere I go I have people coming up to me saying ‘Oh George, if only I’d known that before my fire’, or ‘George, I recently had a kitchen fire, but because I’d seen your demonstration I knew what to do.’ It’s a great feeling to know I’ve made a difference.”

George Stephens was nominated for the award by Alzheimers Counties Manukau, which frequently calls on him to help their clients.

“The people we look after can be more at risk of house fires than other New Zealanders,” said Jan McInnes, who put in the nomination.

“George’s passion, professionalism, manner, sense of humour and understanding allows him to develop a great rapport with our clients. He often goes above and beyond the call of duty to achieve a good outcome for that person.”

One such example was where Mr Stephens arranged for an alarm with strobe lighting to alert the deaf caregiver of an Alzheimers sufferer to a fire. He even organised for the caregiver’s dog to undergo training from Hearing Dogs for the Deaf so it would react appropriately to the smoke alarm.

“Because I’ve been doing this for so long I know who to call,” Mr Stephens said. “There are many people and companies out there who also have a passion to keep their communities safe, so often it’s a matter of knowing how to tap into that and provide value for the people I help.”

George Stephens said he’s delighted to be singled out at the New Zealand Community and Injury Prevention Awards, but like any community hero he said he’s simply “doing his job” – albeit a job that he loves, even after all these years.

For more on Safety NZ Week and the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards, please go to: http://www.homesafety.co.nz/Awards.aspx


ENDS

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