“Greenhorns”, “rookies”, “newbies”, you name it. New workers are constantly singled out at workplaces across nearly every industry. Why? Because deep down, we instinctually know that new workers could use some extra care and attention.
Register: New Worker Readiness Course
Youth in their first jobs often comes to mind, though young workers are not the only ones at risk. New workers of any age are at a much higher risk of injury when compared to their more experienced coworkers. Perhaps this is because the first days and orientation can be overwhelming for any age group, with a lot of new distractions. This can interfere with a new worker absorbing important safety information, or details about their responsibilities and tasks.
Sound familiar? Between fitting in with coworkers, impressing your boss, and generally trying your best not to make a complete mess of things, where did ‘preventing injury’ fit in on your list of priorities? Perhaps it didn’t even make the list.
The time to orient the new workers of Saskatchewan’s future must come long before the first assignment of duties. Safety orientation for new workers must happen before they are on the jobsite, and on the payroll. If the proper safety training foundation has been laid, those first job tasks can be properly focused on, while having confidence that a first injury is not going to be a part of the equation.
Where can a new worker find all the answers? Our Content Team worked directly with safety specialists and industry experts to create the ultimate guide for new workers of any age in Saskatchewan – the “New Worker Readiness” Course.
A product of many months of research and development, the New Worker Readiness Course serves new workers, their employers, and the communities they work and live in. The course has two main objectives:
First, to help new workers understand employment in Saskatchewan. The course prepares new workers with an easy-to-understand overview of the official government of Saskatchewan legislation and guidelines relating to worker’s legal rights and workplace responsibilities.
Second, the course works to prevent injuries, acting as an introduction to hazard recognition and risk assessment. Both industry experts and Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (CRSPs) have contributed content to enrich the course with accurate and relevant information on workplace health and safety.
Utilizing animation software, staff & volunteer voice actors helped create a welcoming classroom narrative, acting as a homebase to host the various modules of the course. Our facilitator “Jason” leads classroom conversation with relatable characters. “Hector”, aged 30, a newcomer to Saskatchewan, wants to understand labour laws so he may start a business. “Stacey”, aged 15, wants to save money for a used car and *thinks* she is ready for her first job. And, “Greg”, a 20-year-old high school graduate from rural Saskatchewan, is looking for a new career outside of the family farm.
A course host, Amanda Wood, Community Relations Coordinator with the Saskatchewan Safety Council, appears on-location in common workplace environments such as retail, automotive, construction, cosmetics & fashion, healthcare, and education to demonstrate course concepts.
With this rich digital learning environment, participants are further connected to the course material through a variety of relatable conversation and examples. Video examples are paired with animated visualizations, on-screen icons, and graphic elements to expertly deliver key messages.
The “New Worker Readiness” course is available as a standalone course, but primarily serves as a foundational introduction in the “Career Safety Education” series.
Free training and resources are made available thanks to contributions from our Donors, Members and Sponsors that believe in our shared goal of creating a province of safety excellence.
Is charitable community injury prevention something your organization values? Consider sponsoring the Council as we create free resources to combat preventable injuries in Saskatchewan: https://www.sasksafety.org/sponsorship-support-levels.html
Thanks to sponsors and volunteers, the fourth annual Cade Sprackman Safety Day took place at Hudson Bay Community School on May 30th, 2023, organized by Saskatchewan Safety Council. The entire K–12 school engaged to learn about injury prevention and honour Cade.
Cade Sprackman grew up in Hudson Bay, SK, with his sister, two brothers, and loving parents. Cade had a driven love and passion for arts and cinema. He aspired to be a cinema director one day, after completing post-secondary education. On January 27th, 2015, only 3 weeks into a new job, Cade was involved in a workplace incident and was killed. He was only 18 years old.
“People would share stories with me that he could light up a room and make everyone smile. As a young adult when he moved to Saskatoon, he couldn’t wait to get into the city and start his life. He was 18 years old and killed at the worksite”.
“I will never forget the night the RCMP came to the door with the news that Cade had died. All they could tell me was that it was an industrial accident that had happened at work. They knew no details”.
- Michelle Sprackman, Cade’s Mother
To kick things off the day of, Aleece Anderson, currently an educator at Hudson Bay Community School shared a few words. As a close friend, who grew up with Cade, she shared how losing a close friend can impact your life, and why it is important to take safety seriously while on the job. Her story was followed by comments made by four attending representatives from Weyerhaueser Company Limited.
After presentations, all attending youth participated in an Amazing Safety Quest, a non-timed, station-based obstacle course. The goal of this highly interactive educational activity is to, on a topic-by-topic basis, inform young and new workers of the extreme importance of workplace safety.
Participants watched demonstrations and took part in activities where they learned about agriculture safety; ATV safety; Powered Mobile Equipment safety; trades and industry specific safety (fall arrest, construction, power tool awareness, PPE safety); water safety; hazard recognition; mining and forestry safety; electrical safety; CPR; AEDs and the hazardous affects of distraction.
The safety demonstration stations were run by volunteers, many of whom attended to represent local area businesses.
The event was participated in by:
To capture the event, CTV Yorkton shared an excellent article on why the Cade Sprackman Safety Day event takes place and why more should take place across Saskatchewan. Local Hudson Bay newspaper, the Junction Review also featured the event, sharing that the event was deemed a success.
Amanda Wood, Community Relations Coordinator with the Saskatchewan Safety Council shares her thoughts, “This event is near and dear to my heart. Working closely with the staff at Hudson Bay Community School and the Spackman’s. When we plan this event each year, the community comes together to make sure the event is a huge success. This year, we had new experiences for the students to engage in. Something new to try and learn and be informed of the safety measures for a variety of different industries. Safety is important in any workplace, even in our everyday lives, safety must be a top priority.
The feedback received by the students and educators was outstanding, being quoted the best one yet! Students were engaged and enjoyed the hands-on activities throughout the event. I’d like to thank the volunteers, educators, local businesses, and organizations who travelled to be a part of the event. It truly does take the support and expertise of everyone coming together to create a province of safety excellence!
A tragic incident took place, we lost the life of a young man who had the whole world ahead of him. Saskatchewan Safety Council is proud to honour Cade, share his story and continue to advocate for our young and new workers to prepare them for a successful and safe working career. Thank you to Michelle and Jerry Sprackman for continuing to support our mission and being advocates for the Career Safety Education program!”
An Amazing Safety Quest can be planned in any community, school or workplace in Saskatchewan. Are you looking for a fun way to incorporate safety-related activities at your next?
Learn more here: https://www.sasksafety.org/amazing-safety-quest.html.
Note: In the weeks leading up to this event, participating high school students in Hudson Bay also completed Career Safety Education – A free series of online safety courses designed to develop awareness, attitudes, and habits that result in a culture of safety that prevents injuries both at home and in the workplace. This, combined with the Amazing Safety Quest, will surely result in the community of Hudson Bay and surrounding area having a future workforce that places great emphasis on the importance of working safely.
Do you remember your first job?
I certainly do. I was 14 years old, starting work at a small commercial kitchen in my local curling club. The job was challenging, frustrating, and completely different from anything I had experienced. I remember every painful mistake during those first few days on the job.
Looking back 16 years later, I can only smile and be thankful. Why? Because like many people in Saskatchewan, I credit that first job with teaching invaluable lessons that would stick with me forever.
Even my most nervous feelings at the time have now morphed into a blissful memory. I certainly remember how proud my parents were to see me earn money, build my personality, and adopt a keen interest in a tradable skill.
If you ask an experienced worker or elder in your community, “what was your first job?” I know that you will hear some treasured stories just like mine. How do I know this? Because that’s exactly what we did. Our content team asked dozens of people in Saskatchewan all about their first jobs.
We learned that first jobs have changed over time, and so have the training and safety practices… Along with minimum wage! We learned that basic training was not always a guarantee, and that injury prevention has not always been a priority.
But what does remain the same across the many generations of people we talked to, is this strong memory of a treasured personal journey. Experiencing those nerves and feeling that doubt. Only to conquer these feelings, emerging from the challenge a more confident, purposeful, and complete person. This common sentiment is written in capital letters across the glowing faces of those we asked about their first jobs.
I hope everyone in this province can experience something like I did in my first job. Like me, I hope new workers can regard their first jobs as a time they grew exponentially as a person. But sadly, this is not always the case. New workers at any age, in any industry, are at a much higher risk for workplace injury. Tragically, because of this, for some, their first job is also their last one.
Now, imagine living in a province where parents, teachers, elders, and friends are confident sending new workers into the wide world of employment, knowing that everyone in that workplace has already been trained in injury prevention. Imagine living in a province where new workers will learn how to make their own way, experiencing challenges and overcoming obstacles, absorbing lessons that will stick with them their entire life, all while being supported with training and orientation that will greatly reduce their risk of injury.
At the Saskatchewan Safety Council, we know that Saskatchewan can, and will be, a province of safety excellence. We believe that new workers deserve to experience all the ups and downs, challenges and obstacles, all while keeping themselves and others free from injury, and of course, all while forming treasured memories. With our commitment to embedding injury prevention content in public school curriculums, and by providing Career Safety Education Trainingfor FREE to anyone in the province, regardless of age, experience, or geographical location, we can be confident that new workers will start their employment journey with a much lower risk of injury.
Will you support this mission to create a province of safety excellence? Will you share this online training with your school, workplace, and community? If you believe in this mission of injury prevention for all, please consider subscribing to our content channels or volunteering with us.
As always, we thank you for reading, viewing, sharing, and for working together to create a province of safety excellence.