Safety video contest asks youth to be the boss

If you were an employer, how would you keep your young workers safe? That’s the challenge for youth in WorkSafeBC’s 2019 student safety video contest. 

Photo of two young men changing lenses on a camera

Photo credit: iStock.com/guruXOOX

It’s very important that young workers feel comfortable to ask questions about safety.

“Young workers are often reluctant to speak up because they don’t want to make waves or look incompetent, even if they know they have rights and responsibilities,” says Robin Schooley, an industry specialist with WorkSafeBC’s Young and New Worker team.

WorkSafeBC’s annual student safety video contest is one way young workers can speak up about health and safety. I asked Robin how her team came up with the theme for the 2019 contest: “You’re the employer: How do you keep your young workers safe?”

Says Robin: “We thought it would be interesting to put youth in employers’ shoes. We wanted to see what kind of job culture will make them feel safe to ask questions, raise concerns, or refuse work that doesn’t seem safe.”

Valuable resource for employers

These student videos are a good way for employers to start conversations about health and safety. Robin says she’s heard of employers using the videos as “ice breakers” for young worker orientations.

“There’s a real onus on the employer to create an environment in which young workers feel it’s safe to ask questions,” says Robin. “Employers need to create that level of comfort where it’s actually encouraged.”

You can see all the winning entries from past contests on worksafebc.com. Employers can also find inspiration about how to talk about safety with young workers at worksafebc.com/WhatIKnowNow.

More about the contest

The contest is open to B.C. youth in Grades 8 to 12 who have a teacher or youth organization sponsor. All accepted entries will be posted on WorkSafeBC’s video contest page, where you can rate your favourites. This year’s deadline is Friday, March 22, 2019.

For more details about the contest, see the 2019 WorkSafeBC student safety video contest page on worksafebc.com.

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