We have seen a decline in workplace injury rates among 15 – 19 years old across Canada, which I believe is due, in part, to efforts to incorporate young worker awareness and education programs into the regular education curriculum.
The last few weeks have underscored some of our efforts in developing our youth to be future leaders in health and safety. First, on behalf of our Council of Governors, CCOHS has awarded its 12th annual Dick Martin Scholarship, a national award to recognize students enrolled in a Canadian occupational health and safety degree or diploma program, and to encourage their pursuit of a career in workplace health and safety. Congratulations to this year’s deserving winners: Jodie Chadbourn (Ontario) and Kathy Lee (Saskatchewan), who each received $3000. Their academic institutions, the University of New Brunswick and the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, also each received $500.
In addition, CCOHS continues to support the annual “It’s Your Job” youth video contest. All Canadian secondary school students begin their competition through provincial and territorial contests administered by their respective ministries and departments of labour. They are challenged to use their creativity to develop an original video that can be used in social media to communicate with their peers about working safely on the job. The winners in each jurisdiction then compete at a national level contest.
Congratulations to this year’s national winners:
• First place: Ben Croskery, John McCrae Secondary School, Ottawa, ON
• Second place: Pranay Noel, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Secondary School, Mississauga, ON
• Third place: Dane Cutliffe, Colonel Gray High School, PEI
• Fan Favourite: Dylan Pappenfoot, Logan Seipp and Dylan Stadnyk, Humboldt Collegiate Institute, Humboldt, SK
As well, I am co-chair of the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work‘s symposium on “Creating a Safe and Healthy Learning and Working Environment” which integrates workplace, community and education groups toward our common goal of developing a young worker safety culture. In that role I also have the privilege of welcoming the delegates from the International Youth Congress – attending from around the world – to the 2014 World Congress next month in Frankfurt, Germany.
Here at CCOHS, in the past couple of decades, we have focused on programs to empower youth in creating a new generation of workplaces that embrace a culture of prevention. But success cannot be achieved in isolation, so our continued efforts to promote and coordinate a holistic approach to young worker safety will integrate with the efforts of workplace, community and education institutions. Together, we head toward the common goal of creating a culture of prevention in all workplaces.