Student video contest focuses on impairment

Have you ever pulled an all-nighter and dragged yourself to work anyway?

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That’s part of the theme students will explore in the 2016 WorkSafeBC Student Safety Video Contest: Impairment at work affects everyone.

Use of drugs or alcohol may come to mind first when we think about impairment on the job. But fatigue also leads to impairment and is actually pretty common, so it seems, when you consider how often people complain they are tired.

One study, which I wrote about in my post Impaired by lack of sleep?, measures the effects of fatigue and compares it to blood alcohol content with the following results:

* 17 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of .05
* 21 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of .08
* 24-25 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of .1

This WorkSafeBC bulletin “The dangers of fatigue in the workplace” reminds us that “the risk of making mistakes at work increases significantly if workers sleep for less than the average (7.5–8.5 hours) or are awake for more than 17 consecutive hours.”

Contest details

The contest is open to B.C. students in grades 8 to 12 who have a teacher sponsor. There’s a category for students in grades 8 to 10 and one for students in grades 11 to 12.

Students are invited to post their videos on YouTube and have teacher sponsors fill out an entry form, which includes the link. WorkSafeBC will approve the video (to ensure there’s no bad language or copyright infringement) and then the public can vote on their favourites.

“Entries will be judged on their impact/transferable safety message, original creative concept, and technical execution,” reads the contest info page, where you will find much more info on participating.

Altogether, there’s $10,000 in prize money for students and schools. The top entry in each province will advance to a national competition.

Deadline for submissions is 5 pm on Friday, April 1, 2016 – but it’s best to post videos as soon as possible, so more people can see them and vote for their favourites. I can’t wait to see what the kids come up with this year!


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