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Source: Massey University

Massey health, safety and wellbeing director Paul Robertson (left) with winning students Laura Payling and William Stephens.

Students Laura Payling and William Stephens have won an inaugural competition to create a safety video that will be used in lectures to promote health, safety and wellbeing across the University.

Health, safety and wellbeing director Paul Robertson says the competition was run to encourage students to engage with an issue that could be seen as “a bit dry”.

“Massey University takes the health, safety and wellbeing of students seriously, and we are committed to ensuring that we provide them with the information and tools that they need to stay safe while they are here,” Mr Robertson says. “We realised that there might be a better way to do this that was more engaging for students – they are the ones who have to watch and understand it.

“In the past, we’ve asked lecturers to deliver a dry PowerPoint slide pack at the start of semester, but realised that there might be a better way to do this that was more engaging for students. As a result, the Health, Safety and Wellbeing team ran a competition late last year, for students to design and film a safety video that would engage with their peers. Coming from the perspective that our people need to be involved in finding solutions, it was agreed that engaging with our students would have a much better outcome.”

Ms Payling, a PhD student studying human nutrition in the School of Food and Advanced Technology, met Mr Stephens, a second-year Bachelor of Information Sciences student, at the Manawatū campus Recreation Centre. When she saw the competition advertised she decided it would be an opportunity to  practice the skills learnt on a course she had done on creating video content and approached Mr Stephens for assistance.

They said it was a fine line between making the video content fun and maintaining the seriousness of the subject. “Safety videos can be quite condescending, so we knew we wanted to avoid that.” The key was to add some comedy, while not making it a joke and acknowledging that it was still an important topic.”

As well as the knowledge that they are helping keep fellow students healthy and safe on campus, they also won an $8000 prize for their efforts. The winning entry, called Reach Your Fullest Potential, may be viewed here.