Workplace Health and Safety Comes to Grade 9 Classrooms

Education (to March 26, 2013)/Labour and Workforce Development (To Jan. 7)

November 27, 2008 12:17 PM

Grade 9 students will learn about the importance of respect for workplace health and safety and injury prevention through a pilot program in the coming school year.

The program aims to reverse the trend of an increasing number of injuries to Nova Scotia workers younger than 20, while the overall number of workplace injuries is declining. The departments of Education and Labour and Workforce Development, and the Workers' Compensation Board have come together to develop the eight hours of in-class instruction.

"Youth in this province need to learn and understand that injuries in the workplace are not, and should not be thought of, as just part of the job," said Mark Parent, Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. "While we still expect employers to be vigilant, offer safe, healthy workplaces and provide staff with appropriate safety training, we want youth to understand the importance of workplace safety and to help them adopt good behaviours and safe habits at an early age."

Like many other provinces, the number of youth joining the workforce in Nova Scotia is increasing. According to Statistics Canada, 70,000 Nova Scotians aged 15 to 24 are part of the workforce. In 2007, more than 4,000 youth were injured in the workplace, with 1,000 of those injured, losing time from work.

The instruction will be offered as part of the compulsory Healthy Living program, Education Minister Karen Casey said.

"Emphasizing workplace health and safety in Grade 9 will be beneficial for whatever career path students choose," said Ms. Casey. "While the specifics are still being developed, we are very optimistic about the positive impact of this program."

"One in 16 of those under 25 were injured on the job in 2007," said Nancy MacCready-Williams, CEO of the Workers' Compensation Board. "A program like this will go a long way to help reduce these numbers in the years to come."


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Grade 9 students will learn about the importance of respect

for workplace health and safety and injury prevention through a

pilot program in the coming school year.

     The program aims to reverse the trend of an increasing

number of injuries to Nova Scotia workers younger than 20, while

the overall number of workplace injuries is declining. The

departments of Education and Labour and Workforce Development,

and the Workers’ Compensation Board have come together to develop

the eight hours of in-class instruction.

     Labour and Workforce Development Minister Mark Parent says

youth need to learn and understand that injuries in the workplace

are not, and should not be, thought of as just part of the job.

     Education Minister Karen Casey says the instruction will be

part of the compulsory Healthy Living program, and that

emphasizing workplace health and safety in Grade 9 will be

beneficial for whatever career path students choose.

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Media Contacts: Karen Stone
                Labour and Workforce Development
                902-424-2107
                Cell: 902-476-1141
                E-mail: Stonekk@gov.ns.ca

                Peter McLaughlin
                Department of Education
                902-424-8307
                E-mail: Mclaugpx@gov.ns.ca

                Mary Kingston
                Workers' Compensation Board
                902-491-8101
                E-mail: Mary.kingston@wcb.gov.ns.ca