Posted with permission from Prince Albert Daily Herald.
A new program from the ministry of education is attempting to educate students about safety in the workplace in an effort to reduce the amount of Saskatchewan youth who become injured on the job.
Youth Safety Education Day is part of an ongoing effort by the Ministry of Education and the Service and Hospitality Safety Association (SHSA) to educate youth about their right to refuse work that could be dangerous, as well as general hazards that commonly appear in the workplace.
Last year, five people in Saskatchewan between the ages of 15 and 24 were killed while at work.
Youth tend to think they're bulletproof
“The youth of our province are at a high risk for injury during the first three months (of employment) and a lot of that’s due to lack of training and lack of employers having the training for them” said Jeanine Werezak of the SHSA. “Youth tend to think they are 10 feet tall and bulletproof, so it’s important that they know they do have responsibilities and rights at work.”
Yesterday the SHSA set up a booth at Carlton Comprehensive High School in order to educate students about the rights they have in the workplace. Later in the year they will return to the school to give more in- depth presentations to students.
Risking lives for ten bucks an hour
Carlton teacher Brad Amy thinks the program will be helpful for students who are currently working or will soon be looking for work. He says students regularly tell him stories of dangerous things they did at work, claiming that many of them “risk their lives for 10 bucks an hour.”
“The reality is, a lot of kids are being put into positions that are unsafe and through this program we are trying to put a dent in that and make kids realize they don’t have to do work that isn’t safe” Amy said.
Joshua Arnason was one of the Carlton Students to stop by the SHSA’s information booth. Arnason worked at a restaurant, but was paid under the table for the work that he did. He says he ended up quitting his job because he was worried about what would happen if he became injured at work.
“I was scared that if I got injured, I wouldn’t be able to receive worker’s compensation,” Arnason said. “It’s good to have a work environment that’s safe where you can do your job.”