Students hand out wristbands to encourage COVID-safe behaviors

Students in Dave Huizen's class are handing out wristbands to reinforce COVID-safe behaviors.
Students in Dave Huizen's class are handing out wristbands to reinforce COVID-safe behaviors.
Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson

Students in Dave Huizen’s Occupational Safety and Health class are encouraging COVID-safe behaviors with a simple tool: a wristband. 

Huizen, the unit head of Grand Valley’s Occupational Safety and Health program, has students in his OSH 350 class hand out wristbands that say "Lakers Together" and "Mask Up - Social Distance" on either side to other students they observe already social distancing and wearing masks. 

The students are learning about how recognition and feedback encourages safe behaviors that should be practiced on- and off-campus, Huizen said. The wristbands also serve as a reminder to continue practicing preventive behavior.

Vito Cannizzaro, a Grand Valley student, hands out wristbands to students who are using COVID-safe behavior.
Vito Cannizzaro, a Grand Valley student, hands out wristbands to students who are using COVID-safe behavior.
Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson

The second phase of Huizen’s class involves his students observing critical behaviors via a checklist, where students track the percentage of compliance among the student population.

During the tracking phase, students in the class can have coaching conversations with students who are observed not practicing COVID-preventive behaviors. These conversations were role-played in class prior to observation.

Huizen said the main goal of the experience at this point is to recognize and identify good behavior that’s crucial during a pandemic, and said the simple act of recognizing a basic act has an impact that reinforces those behaviors. 

"This program allows students to be rewarded for doing their part to keep the campus safe, and also allows the students in the class to practice skills they will need later in their careers," Huizen said.