Family, fun focus on safety

Kids put safety in the spotlight at a recent “Safety and Fun Day” at Hydro’s aluminium extrusion plant in Birtley in the U.K. This is one example of how Hydro builds good community relations where the company operates around the world.

September 12, 2011
Many employees and family members turned out for a
FUN DAY: Many employees and family members turned out for a "Safety and Fun Day." (All photos: Michael Scott)

The Birtley plant, near Newcastle, invited employees' families to a day of activities that included a bouncy castle, fairground ride, bird man with falcons and an owl, burger van and a tombola – and focus on safety.

Going home safely every day

“We wanted to emphasize how valuable family life is and how important it is to go home safely at the end of each day," explains Mike Miller, the plant’s health, safety, and environment manager.

child in fireman's uniform
SAFETY DAY: The young boys and girls could try the fire engine gear ...

Adds Angela Wilkinson, Unite union representative: “We organized the day to highlight the importance of health and safety, but wanted to do it in a fun way to get the families of our workforce, and especially their children, involved.”

Fire-fighters from Birtley fire station attended a life-like “incident” at the site to display their skills – and the fire engine was certainly a highlight of the day. The firemen demonstrated how the fire hoses and other equipment works. 

“We really appreciate the Birtley fire-fighters giving up their valuable time to attend our safety day,” says Richard Elliott, plant manager.

The children also got to try on firemen outfits and climb aboard the fire engine (and a few adults couldn’t resist dressing up either).

Extrusion process demonstrated

On a plant tour for the children, John Morrison, the die shop manager, gave a very effective demonstration of the extrusion process using a “Play-Doh” fun factory.

girl with oxygen equipment
... and try out the breathing apparatus.

All of the kids were given their own Hydro T-shirt as well as child-size high-visibility vests provided by Arco, the company that supplies personal protective equipment to the Birtley plant. The company also had a stall at the event and explained the importance of the safety equipment to the children. 

Schools benefit, too

Prizes, which were all donated by suppliers to Hydro included, Newcastle United football shirts, a microwave and skateboards and helmets.

A total of £221 was raised on the day and will be divided among four local schools.

A great success

“Birtley’s first Safety and Fun day was a great success. It demonstrated the importance of health and safety, particularly to the children, in a fun and effective way. It's a winning formula that I am sure will be repeated in the future,” says Derrick Webb, managing director of Hydro’s extrusion operations in the U.K. 

children watching a demonstration
FUN FACTORY: John Morrison, die shop manager at Birtley, demonstrated the extrusion process using a “Play-Doh” fun factory.

Updated: September 14, 2016