Oregon looks to BC for young worker leadership

Image from The Safety Police, a student video submission from Salem Academy

I’ve been emailing with a safety contact in Oregon, and have some praise to share regarding BC’s young worker safety program.

“We are very familiar with the BC program, and consider it to be the best regarding young worker health and safety,” says Dede Montgomery, an OHS specialist at the Oregon Health and Science University’s Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology.

Dede co-chairs the the Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition – known by its acronym: O[yes]. The coalition formed five years ago, and this is the fourth year they’ve had the video contest.

“Since the inception of O[yes] we have looked to WorkSafeBC as the leader of organizations doing great work creating ways to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses for young people. We believe that collaboration among partners and organizations is critical to our success, and look forward to potential future collaboration with WorkSafeBC,” Dede said via email.

Oregon’s young worker safety video contest

This year, O[yes] received around 50 entries that met the contest rules, and final winners will be announced at a big screening and prize announcement on April 14 in Salem, Oregon. Nine finalist teams will explain how and why they made their videos, speaking before an audience of their peers, OHS specialists, parents, and teachers.

From the Oregon Young Worker Health and Safety website

“We know that young people listen to their peers, and have a way of communicating that isn’t always shared by people outside of their age group,” Dede said. “With this video contest, we ask high school students in Oregon to create a video that would inspire their friends about the importance of speaking up in the workplace. In addition to awarding cash prizes to the student producers, and matching prizes to their schools, we use the videos throughout the year in classrooms and workshops, and encourage others to use them as well.”

Good luck to all the students – in BC, Oregon, and any where else people are holding such contests – and thanks to Dede for sharing her story. The Oregon finalists can be viewed on the OregonSafetyHealth YouTube channel.

If you’d like to connect with Dede and her team at Oregon’s Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology, you can:
Follow them on Twitter (where they are @CROETatOHSU)
Like the CROET Facebook Page
Read their blog Oregon and the Workplace


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