Tata Steel helping children to ‘be bright and be seen’ when crossing the roads
At Tata Steel safety is our number one priority. Safety plays a big role in our operations and we also like to extend this all the way to the home. Many people make their daily commute to and from home and work and in fact this is one of the most riskiest moments in the day especially in the dark autumn mornings and evenings.
Like adults, children also make their daily commute to and from home and school. It is therefore essential for children to learn about road safety and understand the need to see and be seen, and how difficult it is for drivers to see them, especially when it is dark. Children need to know their clothing can affect their visibility to other road users and this is why they should wear bright coloured reflecting clothes. It was from this that Marko Juhannusvuori from Tata Steel Naantali, also a father of young school children himself, had an idea:
"At Tata Steel safety is part of our daily discussions and we focus a lot of energy on it. As a result of this, I am more aware of hazards and am always thinking of ways to make our environment safer. I myself spend quite a lot time behind the wheel and unfortunately I often notice a child in the traffic without any reflective clothing, making them hard to see. This is particularly dangerous on dark days. From this I had an idea that maybe we could try to do something to increase the safety of local school children by donating reflecting vests for their school journeys. So I took a call to Jukka Laurila at Topsafe and right away we had a second company excited to work with us. We also asked Ahola Transpoint, for who traffic safety is a big issue in their operations, and local glazing company Kaune, who immediately wanted to participate in supporting local kids and make a positive change in the community. None of the companies needed any convincing and were immediately with us from the first call.”
With the joint forces of four local companies, we started to implement a campaign for all kinder garden and first graders. After check count, we located a total of 450 children from the Naantali City area, the campaign also had some room for growth.
”We wanted to put a message on the vests that was light hearted yet realistic, something that would bring smile to the faces of all car drivers. After some brainstorming we decided to use: “Look out! Fragile”. I think the text aptly describes the children and how drivers should treat them in traffic”, Marko said.
The vests were jointly given by the benefactors to Naantali City under the watchful eyes of the first graders! First impressions from the children were great and the smiles on their faces told us that part of the campaign was a success. Hopefully we will see a lot of children wearing these vests in the dark autumn days on the streets of Naantali.