Goodstart takes continuous improvement approach to safety, focusing on transport

by Freya Lucas

January 05, 2021

National early childhood education and care provider, Goodstart Early Learning, released information late last year outlining a commitment to continuous improvement across all safety procedures, highlighting an extensive review of transportation procedures recently undertaken.

 

The review came as part of broader measures taken in response to the tragic loss of a young boy’s life when he was found in a Goodstart bus on 18 February 2020. 

 

Under the broader measures introduced, all Goodstart staff using buses now have three clearly designated roles in the new bus procedure: Driver, Supervisor and Checker. This means on every journey the Supervisor sits at the back of the bus for the entire trip and checks the bus is empty as they move to the front of the bus to exit.

 

The Checker meets the bus when it returns to the centre and double checks the roll and checks all children off as they leave the bus. This role also ensures the driver and supervisor are correctly following procedure.

 

Once the children are returned to the centre the Checker takes photographs to show the bus is empty and uploads them to iAuditor (which allows for remote auditing in real-time).

 

Alongside reviewing and improving bus policies and procedures, Goodstart undertook extensive research into bus safety best practice around the globe, exploring alternative safety measures, products and devices which could be adapted to strengthen existing safety procedures. 

 

Tools such as thermal cameras, reverse autobrakes, route planners, sensor motions, sensor seats and seatbelts and rear button alarm deactivation were identified as part of the research, with the provider undertaking a pilot program with thermal cameras, iPad Roll Management and Seat Sensors. 

 

Following the pilot, Goodstart identified that thermal cameras “did not meet our needs as many of our journeys are of short duration, which doesn’t allow sufficient time for the cameras to operate.”

 

iPad Roll Management is now active in Outside School Hours Care services and will soon be operating for all early learning environments.

 

In the next phase of exploration, seat sensors will be installed for an additional pilot program, with testing to commence shortly. 

 

“The research and subsequent trials show that technology certainly holds promise but team vigilance and training are the key to best practice. We will continue to explore new technology to ensure our service is as safe as possible,” a spokesperson said, emphasising the role that the transportation service offered by Goodstart plays in ensuring equity of access to its services.

 

A video has been prepared outlining the continuous improvement lens taken by the provider, which may be accessed here

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