Wednesday Take Our Kids to Work Day, an opportunity for Grade 9 students to share a work experience with their parent.
The idea behind the day is to allow students to gain a greater understanding of the skills required for the workplace and to start thinking about their own career options.
The Workers Compensation Board is reminding Island parents that it is also the ideal time to initiate a conversation about workplace safety.
“Instilling safe work habits early in life can help to protect our next generation of workers and employers,” said WCB chair Nancy Guptill. “What could be more important than making sure our children make it home safe each day?”
She said the workplace can be intimidating for young workers who are trying hard to fit in, to please their supervisors and to get their work done. They may be inexperienced in recognizing safety hazards, or feel reluctant to speak up at work about their safety. Parents can contribute to their child’s future by opening a dialogue now about the importance of workplace safety.
The WCB suggests the following conversation starters for parents on Take Our Kids to Work Day, or for any day of the year:
— Identify some of the hazards in your workplace, and what you do to work safely. Your child may be surprised to learn that hazards exist in every workplace.
— Explain to your child what you would do if you encountered an unsafe situation at work.
Remind your young worker that everyone has workplace safety rights, including:
— the right to know about any potential hazards on the job and how to stay safe at work,
— the right to participate in decision making about workplace safety, and in resolving safety issues at work, and
— the right to refuse unsafe or dangerous work.
Reinforce the importance of speaking up for safety at work, to ensure your young workers take ownership of their health and safety, and have the training, protective equipment and support they need.