Project: Health and safety education: An evaluation of its effectiveness at One FE college in preparing students for the working environment

Completed but not published

This project was submitted on 03/07/2014

Health and Safety Education: An Evaluation of Its Effectiveness at One FE College in Preparing Students for the Working Environment.

Aim: To evaluate the perception, understanding and ability to apply health and safety, of students within a vocational further education college, across curriculum departments.

The research was triangulated and included both quantitative and qualitative data. This included a web-survey, the Learning Skills Council’s “Be Safe!” test, and focus groups. Key sections of the survey assessed the students’ perception and understanding of health and safety, and their confidence in applying this within the workplace. Of the 14 departments in the college, 4 were discounted due to unsuitability because of curriculum subject (academic A’ Levels or students with fundamental learning disability).

The response rate of 9% exceeded the minimum response required, and 96% of respondents completed the survey and test in their entirety. Descriptive statistical functions were performed on the data. 44 students took part across 3 focus groups.

There was no statistical consistency of understanding throughout the college and only 28% of students were able to score top marks on the health and safety test. Additionally, there was no correlation between the students’ perception of health and safety teaching within curriculum, their confidence in applying their knowledge, how they important they believe health and safety to be and their performance in the test. However the work does show that the students overall feel prepared for the work environment, have a positive approach to health and safety, and feel confident in applying their knowledge.

To be effective in preparing students for the workplace, health and safety teaching within curriculum should be structured and tested, and teachers should have competence in health and safety in order to teach it, with adequate resources provided by the management and organisation.

There is scope for further research nationally, assessing the health and safety knowledge of lecturers and comparing accident rates of under 21s by education stream.

Occupational health & wellbeing, Risk management, Training and education

Organisation: University of Portsmouth

Eldon Building,
Winston Churchill Avenue, Burnaby Road,
PO1 2DJ,
023 9284 8484

Principal Investigator: Kirsty Williams

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