Watch above: workplace fatalities point to need for youth safety education
SASKATOON – This is the third year the Service and Hospitality Association of Saskatchewan has been going around to Saskatoon high schools to educate students on the importance of safety in the workplace.
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“A lot of them in high school they are either getting ready to start work or they are working already and they may not realize the hazards and the dangers that are at the work place,” said Jeanine Anderson, a safety adviser with the association.
In 2012, five workers under the age of 24 were killed on the job in Saskatchewan. Last year that number was two; both fatalities were young workers under the age of 18.
“Two fatalities is too much. I have four kids and three of them are young workers and I want them to know that they have rights and responsibilities at the work place and to watch for the hazards,” said Anderson.
Wednesday was Youth Safety Education Day in Saskatchewan and it seems the message is hitting loud and clear.
“In the warehouse I work in, there’s lots of dangerous equipment there, so if you are messing around there is a chance you could get injured, so it’s not something you want to do,” said Bailey Culbertson, a Grade 12 student at Bethlehem Catholic High School.
“It’s important for people to know that you do need to be safe and to understand safety is the key importance in any workplace,” said Cassidy Alm, who is also a Grade 12 student at Bethlehem Catholic High School.
On Monday evening, two men from Calgary, aged 24 and 25 died in a work place accident in Fox Valley, Sask. after falling 12 feet into a sewer line. Occupational Health and Safety are investigating.
“It was heart breaking to hear that because those young people that past away was somebody’s sons, somebody’s brother,” said Anderson.
It’s estimated that over 45 per cent of young workers between 16 and 24 will suffer a job related injury. It’s a number many in the province are trying to change for who will be future leaders.
Youth Safety Education Day isn’t just a chance to remind employees but employers to work safe.