Teaching safe shearing with Tahi Ngātahi

Tahi Ngātahi is an online Health and Safety training platform for New Zealanders working in and around the Wool Shed. It’s an initiative born from the desire to decrease injuries across the sector, but also increase the comradery that comes from a team that looks after each other.

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What a challenge

This isn’t the first time Click Suite’s been given the task of inspiring a reluctant audience. This time, we had to get woolshed workers enthusiastic about Health and Safety (you could hear the eye-rolls!). We also needed a web-based solution that worked in the remote areas of New Zealand and our key users could be on the lower end of the literacy scale, with limited access to fast internet. Yes, this was a challenging brief.

Insights that influenced us

Our early research discovered some underlying issues that we knew were important. Woolshed workers were feeling undervalued, and not well respected. They often had poor working conditions, and they wanted to be able to correct that. We knew we had to turn that around before we could begin to connect with them about Health & Safety.

A critical insight that influenced us was to treat this special audience as the high-performance professional athletes that they are. They are the “All Blacks of our wool economy”. (They burn more calories in a day than a marathon runner.) We also discovered that they LOVED watching shearing videos on YouTube and idolised high achieving shearers. These men and women are super passionate about shearing, and their shearing heroes.

The experience

The design of the site feels more like a site for professional athletes; set up to support and celebrate them. We’ve kept it very real, and firmly placed in their world of the woolshed.We decided that most content should be delivered via video, featuring their shearing heroes, showing them great techniques to help them keep their backs safe, their bodies strong, and their careers long. We wanted to avoid text, too much reading, or anything that felt like traditional learning.We’ve also allowed them to give feedback on their working conditions, view on-line Warrant of Fitness’ for woolsheds they are working in, and show their employers their certificates. This is something to be proud of.

The impact

The Tahi Ngātahi site launched in September 2018, and in its first few weeks it had more than 100 accounts created, with average users visiting the site 2.5 times, and sessions lasting close to 15 minutes. Impressive stats for a topic that had previously left the audience cold.

Made by the Industry

We were stoked to work closely with the clever and visionary folks at the Shearing Contractors’ Association, along with their colleagues at ACC, Federated Farmers, and WorkSafe. It really has been a happy team effort; a true team coming together as one. Tahi Ngatahi.

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