Reaping the rewards of the student safety video contest

One B.C. teacher describes how his students — and his school — have benefited from participating in WorkSafeBC’s student video contest every year. 

Photo of Ryan Radford, teacher of video production and graphic design at Walnut Grove Secondary School

Ryan Radford. Photo credit: Ryan Radford

Ryan Radford is the video and media teacher at Walnut Grove Secondary School in Langley, B.C. During the past few years, students at Walnut Grove have won numerous awards for their submissions to the annual WorkSafeBC student safety video contest.

“The momentum of having past winners makes more students want to get involved,” Ryan says. “The idea of being able to showcase their creative work is very exciting for them.”

The video contest offers four main prizes, each totalling $2,500. That’s $1,500 awarded to the participating secondary school or youth organization and $1,000 to the participating student or student team.

“Every year we win, we put the money back into the department. For a high school, we have a pretty good collection of equipment now, and a big part of that is due to the WorkSafeBC contest,” Ryan says. “We’ve been able to get nicer cameras, better lighting, better microphones, etcetera — and then the students can use it to make their videos look better.”

2020 contest theme: Not all injuries are visible

The theme of the 2020 contest was “Not all injuries are visible.”

In their videos, students explored the idea that not all injuries are as obvious as cuts or broken bones. From the outside, it’s hard to know if someone is struggling with depression, anxiety, hearing loss, or an occupational disease, for example.

Ryan says it’s good that students are thinking about workplace safety as early as possible.

“They’re just entering the workforce, if they’re working at all. Through this contest, we are saying: ‘Hey guys, we know you might not be there yet, but this will be a huge part of your life,’” he says. “They learn about refusing unsafe work, expecting proper training, and all those values WorkSafeBC emphasizes.”

Ryan asked me to mention (in this blog post) how much he and his staff appreciate the annual contest, which is sponsored by Actsafe, London Drugs, Seaspan, and WorkSafeBC. “It is so incredible what the team at WorkSafeBC is doing to get the message out — and the generosity of the sponsors giving back to our students and our schools. I just can’t say enough good things about the contest.”

Congratulations to all contest winners — and also to everyone else who participated. Thanks to Ryan for telling me about his work with students.

For more health and safety information and resources, see WorkSafeBC’s Young & new workers webpage.

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