Safety and positive mental health habits

August 29th, 2022

How aware do you think people in your organisation are about Safety Health and Environmental (SHE) issues? Our awareness at Three Mountains has increased recently because of the e-courses we have been creating for the Rwanda TVET Board. The courses we made are on personal hygiene and safety, dealing with emergencies and safety at work and protecting the environment in the workplace.

Environmental issues

I made the course on protecting the environment and climate change. I learned that you can ask the company Enviroserve to collect your electronic waste. This is very good news!

I also learned that according to Rwandan laws, old, used oil in garages should be collected by a specialised company and disposed of in an environmentally safe way. However, when I asked about this at some garages in Kigali, I was told the used oil is usually given to carpenters who use it to treat new wood or to anyone who might ask for it. So it seems we need more awareness to prevent soil pollution or other environmental issues.

Positive mental health habits

My colleagues created the course on healthy mental habits. I really liked this course. It explains the advantages of practising gratitude. We should all take a few minutes every day to think about what we are grateful for. In the mornings when I eat my breakfast on the terrace, I look at the garden and feel grateful for all the things that grow there. This helps to start my day with a positive attitude so that I can better tackle everything that may come along.

Another healthy habit is to think positively about your body. We often think about what is wrong with our bodies. For example, I used to think my stomach is too fat, and that I was getting a hump and spots on my skin! I have learned to focus not on what my body looks like, but on what it does for me. I think about how my legs carry me wherever I want to go, and how my hands can type, pick things up and make effective gestures.

A workshop with TVET teachers

Mid-August we had a workshop with the TVET school teachers who will be using our SHE courses. It was great fun to work together. We had lots of good questions from the teachers. In the section on healthy food, one of the teachers asked “What’s the difference between spaghetti and macaroni?” Reply: the shape only!
We talked about how to treat ankle or elbow strains and sprains. In the course, the correct response is: “Treat the sprain or strain with ice.” But what do you do if you don’t have any ice? Can you treat a strain or sprain with a cloth dipped in warm water? No, that won’t help, you have to use cold water.
What to do during a thunderstorm, when there is a lot of lightning and you are in an open field or space? To reduce the danger of being hit by lightning is to crouch down, sit on the balls of your feet and make yourself as small as possible. This was new information for most of the teachers.
We had also shown images of ‘safety shoes’. These shoes have steel caps. But where is the steel exactly? And what is it for?

At the end of the workshop, the teachers told us they appreciated these e-courses, and that they were ready to use them with their students.

Open for general use
The SHE courses have been financed by GIZ under their Eco-Emploi Programme. In addition to the Rwandan TVET schools, anyone who is interested in Safety, Health and Environmental issues can access these e-courses. For example, companies in Rwanda and beyond can ask their employees to take the e-courses and continue discussions on safety at work from there.

The e-courses are written in English, with some Kinyarwanda words added as needed to reinforce the health and safety messages. 

You can find all the courses here:

  1. Positive health
  2. Safe hygiene
  3. Hazards and safety in the workplace
  4. Emergencies at the workplace
  5. Protecting the environment at our workplace  

If you just click on one of the links above, you can sign up and start the course. When you have finished, you will get a certificate, and off you go!