The high number of Saskatchewan youths being injured in the workplace was the catalyst for a new career safety education program that is being celebrated as the first of its kind in North America.
The Saskatchewan Safety Council and WorkSafe Saskatchewan partnered in 2013 to address the number of youth injuries and fatalities in the province’s workplaces.
That year there was one workplace fatality and 876 youth, aged 14 to 21, lost time because they were injured at work, according to the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board.
Another 2,557 youths were injured at work, but there was no time loss.
In 2014, there were two workplace fatalities in the province, 828 youths took time off work because of injuries and another 2,197 were injured but didn’t lose time at work.
The five-year Early Safety Training pilot program began as a joint initiative of the Saskatchewan Safety Council and WorkSafe Saskatchewan.
A provincial steering committee was established that was made up of all of the industry safety associations, Safe Saskatchewan, private industry and education.
The goal was that all youth in Saskatchewan would have access to free, career-focused safety education before starting their first jobs.
Hands-on safety training was provided at more than 20 school divisions and six First Nations throughout the province.
“It involved first aid and CPR and then a hands-on elective,” said Merissa Scarlett, community relations co-ordinator with the Saskatchewan Safety Council. “We realized that we needed to upgrade it so we could reach all of the youth in the province.”
Source : Leaderpost