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Teach teens about workplace safety – TOKTW Day

October 28, 2015

Commentary

On November 4, thousands of Grade 9 students across New Brunswick will join parents at work for the annual Take Our Kids to Work Day.

This national program from The Learning Partnership is held the first Wednesday of every November and gives young people a chance to shadow their parent or another adult at work for an up-close glimpse of what their parents do each day at work.

The program supports career development by helping students connect school and the world of work with their own futures.

This day is the ideal opportunity for parents and guardians to renew their focus on workplace health and safety and to set positive examples for their children. By taking our kids to work we give youth the opportunity to gain an understanding of what a workday might entail.

Unfortunately, more than 10,500 workers are injured on the job each year in New Brunswick and this affects children as well. A serious workplace injury can have profound implications on the family unit. We all want parents to come home safely after work to their children.

Take Our Kids to Work Dayis the perfect time to show children the positive actions parents, guardians and employers take to ensure their safety while on the job. 

Whether it is using fall protection on high construction sites, removing trip hazards from an office, or using proper techniques when lifting heavy objects, these precautions can set a foundation for safe working practices for our children.

We want young people to understand that it does not pay to take short cuts on the job and that using safety equipment is not optional.

As our children grow older and enter the workforce we want them to be responsible for their own safety and understand there is a safety leader in each of us. 

We want them to not be afraid and speak up when they see a hazard. We want them to understand they have the right to refuse work that they believe might endanger their safety, or the safety of others, and that a worker cannot be disciplined for exercising their right to refuse.

We need to teach our children that workplaces can get hectic with deadlines or limited resources. These can never be excuses, however, for sidestepping safety. There is always time to incorporate safety in our workday and they need to know that workplace injuries are preventable.

On this Take Our Kids to Work Day, we encourage all employers, parents and guardians to make workplace safety part of the discussion for our children.

The following tips may help.

Parents and guardians:

  • Talk you your children about workplace safety before Take Our Kids to Work Day. Ensure they know the risks and are prepared.
  • Demonstrate safety practices while on the job. Be a good role model.
  • Talk about workplace safety after Take Our Kids to Work Day. Ask your child if they have any questions or concerns.  Keep workplace health and safety an ongoing discussion.

Employers:

  • Ensure Take Our Kids to Work Day participants receive a safety briefing.
  • Encourage open dialogue about health and safety. Welcome questions.
  • Demonstrate your commitment to safety. Show how your business makes safety a priority.

To learn more about workplace health and safety, visit worksafenb.ca.

Gerard Adams, president and CEO of WorkSafeNB

 

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