Speaking up for safety in student video contest

“How do you speak up for safety?”

Photo credit: iStock.com/sielemann

That’s the theme of WorkSafeBC’s 2017 Student safety video contest. The contest challenges B.C. students in Grades 8 to 12 to answer this question in a creative video, then post it on YouTube, where people can vote for their favourites.

All styles of video — drama, comedy, documentary, music video, stop‑motion, claymation, animation — are welcome. There are separate categories for students in grades 8–10 and in grades 11–12.

“If you see something that could cause an accident or injury at work, you have a right and a responsibility to do something about it — for your own safety and for the safety of your co-workers,” reads the contest invitation.

This contest theme — “How do you speak up for safety?” — reminds me of a post I wrote a couple of years ago, about a story I heard at the coffee shop. A fellow customer told me about an “ethical decision” he made at work on a construction site when his co‑worker — from a temp agency — arrived drunk and fell on the ground.

He knew it was unsafe for someone to be working drunk on a construction site, but he felt a moment of hesitation to report it because “the guy really needed the money.” He knew the guy would be sent home and not hired back, but he also knew that everyone else’s safety was much more important.

“I didn’t want to work with him,” said the worker. “So I told the lead hand I wasn’t working with him.”

The lead hand told the Construction Safety Officer, who sent him home, and … if you want to know more, you can read the rest in my post Dealing with substance abuse in the workplace.

Deadline for student video submissions

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, March 28, 2017 — but students are encouraged to post their videos on YouTube ASAP, then have a teacher sponsor fill out the entry form, which includes the link. WorkSafeBC will review the video and then post it on their website (as long as there’s no copyrighted music, nor any inappropriate language or images).

More than $10,000 in prize money is available for students and schools — and, of course, the fame is priceless.

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