Saskatchewan helping injury-prone young workers focus on safety
Regina, SK -- WorkSafe Saskatchewan, along with partners from the CNIB, Graham Construction, 3M Canada and Weber Supply Canada, has presented safety glasses to students from four Regina Catholic high schools.
Regina, SK — WorkSafe Saskatchewan, along with partners from the CNIB, Graham Construction, 3M Canada and Weber Supply Canada, has presented safety glasses to students from four Regina Catholic high schools.
WorkSafe Saskatchewan provided a pair of sport-type safety glasses to each student during a presentation and gave each student a second pair of safety glasses to take home. Students were asked to pass on the glasses and a safety message, thereby becoming a safety leader or ambassador.
WorkSafe Saskatchewan, 3M and Weber Supply also donated enough glasses to Regina Catholic high schools to provide one pair to every student in the Practical and Applied Arts program.
WorkSafe Saskatchewan and its partners will be distributing 35,000 pairs of glasses in schools and communities in Saskatchewan in 2012.
Workers’ Compensation Board CEO Peter Federko says, “We think this is a great opportunity to engage our youth in safety discussions and build community support. We believe that attitudes and behaviours will not change if the home or community doesn’t support what we teach our youth.”
Federko adds, “The program intends to educate and create an opportunity for youth and their communities to engage in safe activities. But a campaign like this would not succeed without corporate support. It was important for WorkSafe Saskatchewan to partner with companies committed to health and safety.”
How did WorkSafe Saskatchewan envision the value of a safety glasses campaign?
In June 2010, WorkSafe Saskatchewan collaborated with Magna Electric Corporation (MEC) on a similar campaign. Kerry Heid, CEO of MEC, approached WCB CEO, Peter Federko with the idea. Heid realized that even though he and his staff wore safety equipment on the job, they didn’t always have access to equipment at home. He planned to purchase safety glasses and have his staff use them and share them with neighbours and customers in communities throughout Saskatchewan.
• Every day, 200 Canadian workers sustain eye injuries on the job, often resulting in lost time and, in some cases, either temporary or permanent vision loss. Workers could have prevented 40% of these eye injuries if only they had been wearing eye protection (source: CNIB).
• Canadian could have prevented 80% of all eye conditions causing blindness with proper education and precautionary steps (source: CNIB).
• During 2004 and 2005, eye injuries accounted for 1.45% of all reported injuries (work and non-work) in Saskatchewan, and hospitalized approximately 2,000 people. (Source: Saskatchewan Comprehensive Injury Surveillance Report, 1995-2005).
• Saskatchewan has the second-highest workplace injury rate in Canada. Outside of work, Saskatchewan hospitalizes people at a rate that is twice the national average due to preventable injuries. The province has only 3% of Canada’s population, but report 7% of its injuries. According to the Health Quality Council, on average, there are 1,800 hospitalizations each month because of injuries.
• Saskatchewan work-related injury statistics indicate that youth (aged 15-24) are 20% to 30% more likely to have an injury than workers of any other age are. WorkSafe Saskatchewan’s youth strategy is to educate and influence the health and safety beliefs and behaviours of youth to achieve a reduction in injuries.