A speaker came to Sparwood Secondary School (SSS) to discuss work safety and knowing your rights for young workers on Tuesday, May 26 to a Grade 10 planning class.
“Studies show that young workers are 40 per cent more likely to get hurt on the job. It is not because they are inattentive or risk takers, but simply because they lack experience and training,” said Layne Clark, a facilitator with the Alive After Five program.
Clark was invited to speak by SSS teacher Melissa Traub.
“We’ve had a few presentations from WorkBC about choosing careers and we’ve done an entire unit on careers and employment. So it’s really great for the kids to have access to this kind of information,” said Traub.
Making sure high school students know this information is extremely important, according to Clark, as many of them are just starting their first jobs.
Highlights of the presentation included safety hazards, employer and employee responsibilities in the workplace and most importantly workers basic health and safety rights.
“The goal of the program is to leave them with important information about their rights and the confidence to ask questions about workplace safety,” said Clark.
Clark made sure to deliver her message in an approachable manner, using personal stories and examples that would relate to many of the student’s current part-time jobs to make her point.
“What’s really unique about our program is that it’s peer to peer, meaning it’s delivered by young workers to young workers. Our facilitators bring unique perspectives, personal stories and humour to their presentation making it both interactive and interesting for students,” said Clark.
Clark herself has been delivering these presentations across the province for t he last two years. Alive After Five itself has been in existence for a decade and has so far reached more than 150,000 students.