Two Island youth were recognized for their safety on the job recently.
Hannah MacLean and Michael MacKinnon won 2019 Safe Youth Awards from the Workers Compensation Board (WCB).
The award is presented annually to P.E.I. youth aged 15-24 who demonstrate an understanding of occupational health and safety (OHS) principles and take the initiative to apply them in their workplaces.
MacLean was recognized for her safe practices with the Cornwall and Area Watershed Group this summer.
"Hannah makes an effort to identify safety hazards as soon as she sees them. She is very aware and can predict a sequence of events, while evaluating for safety, which is a skill on its own," says her supervisor.
MacLean said it can sometimes be challenging to remind co-workers older than she is to work safely, but she is committed to doing so.
"Safety is too important to not speak up when you see something unsafe," said MacLean, adding her advice for young workers, "You're never too cool to wear safety gear.”
MacKinnon has worked at Kent for several years.
"Perhaps one of the most prominent hazards in my workplace is the use of equipment such as lifts and pallet jacks. This is both a hazard to workers and to customers who may be shopping at our store. It is very important to me to take every precaution when operating and working among these machines."
MacKinnon currently attends UPEI and is pursuing a career in nursing.
He is confident that the skills he has gained while working at Kent will be useful in his nursing career.
"Whether it involves safely using lifts and other equipment, using proper body mechanics, or practicing social interaction with customers/clients, it's all very relevant to my future work in healthcare," he says.
"We are all made familiar with Kent's Team Mission early on in orientation, with 'A Safe Working Environment' being the top item. I'm happy to be a part of that and honoured to receive this award."
Stuart Affleck, chairman of the Workers Compensation Board, said focusing on youth is one of the ways to build safe workplaces for tomorrow.
"Seeing our youth develop and apply strong safety values at work is something we can be proud of,” said Affleck.
"All applicants showed potential to be safety leaders," said Cheryl Paynter, CEO of the Workers Compensation Board. "It's encouraging to see so many youth and their employers making the effort to show their commitment to health and safety."
For more information about educating young workers about workplace safety, visit the Workers Compensation Board website at http://www.wcb.pe.ca/Workplace/YoungWorkers or contact the WCB office at 902-368-5680 or 1-800-237-5049.