Group Chat - A Free Video Resource
"C’mon, we’re all doing it!"
Have you heard this line before? Peer pressure, social tensions, and violence among youth is not new. Only the popular technology used to influence behviour has changed, and once again, young people have mastered it. In this ever-evolving electronic world, as technology and social development meet, young people always seem to be one step ahead of those that try to intervene early in violent behaviours; often educators, parents, and mentors.
Youth have always mastered the trendy and avant-garde technologies of their times. Leading their development, testing the capabilities in ever more creative and involving ways. This often facilitates beautiful expressions of one’s self and environment that can be incredibly healthy and fulfilling. But, for all things there must be balance. Converse to the positive expression, technology can also facilitate the expression of harmful, violent, and even criminal behaviour.
The world of cyberbullying - intimidation, humiliation, spamming, harassment, and other harmful tech-facilitated violent behaviours. The trouble for concerned caregivers is that these tech-facilitated communications cannot be seen, heard, or touched. And what’s more, is that the ever-changing evolution of these communication technologies will inhibit a caregiver’s ongoing ability to recognize, intervene, and ultimately treat the youth affected.
We decided to investigate this ongoing issue with our friends at Campus Regina Public in Regina, SK. Working with grade 11 students in the “Advanced Media Production & Content Creation Program”, first we discussed issues that were affecting their mental health and social wellbeing. Then, we invited this class to participate hands-on in the production of a short video project on a relevant topic to their daily lives - cyberbullying.
What we heard from this class, and what has been documented in surveys collected from hundreds of youth in Saskatchewan, is that the majority of communication happens online, and that cyberbullying had risen to become the most prominent form of bullying. - SAYCW "Youth Health Survey Report 2016"
By the mid 2010’s, a technological shift in communication had already occurred long before the youth of today’s school years began. These youth have always felt pressure to join in these new, ever evolving online worlds of communication, a prominent example of which being “group chats”. These multi-user chat spaces are created for seemingly every social circle. Some chats are with family, some are just for friends. Some chats are for sports and rec groups, video games, events, parties… You name it, there is a group chat for it. Two years of online learning supported group chats between classmates and coworkers, teachers and students, further driving much of social behaviour to be expressed online, and further creating an implied approval from authority that online communication is appropriate in most circumstances.
The relation between social media, and to an extent communication platforms, is only now starting to become linked to depression, anxiety, and other social stressors. Suicide rates have been steadily rising among youth in Saskatchewan, with suicidal plans and thoughts also being reported by higher and higher percentages of youth (SAYCW study). Behaviours like targeted harassment, privacy violations, social exclusion, and other harmful actions have migrated to the online space with ease. Youth take advantage of the idea that parents, teachers, mentors, and other caregivers are unaware of the harmful communications taking place online. - SAYCW "Thriving Youth, Thriving Communities 2019" Report
As mental health becomes a validated subject as we as caregivers do our best to prevent injuries and promote life, an acute awareness of the modern issues effecting youth is a must in a caregiver's quest to prepare youth with the tools they need to achieve their best.
New electronic venues of communication, like “group chats”, are part of a digital world that youth have been forced to learn all on their own. By connecting these modern communication trends facing youth today, to the lessons we have learned from bullying and harassment in the past, we can better care for students and youth to ensure they are prepared to deal with the psychological pitfalls of these modern challenges.
Looking for resources?
FREE Mental Health Wellness Resiliency Training: https://www.sasksafety.org/online.html
Sasktel Be Kind Online: https://bekindonline.com/
Saskatchewan Advocate for Children & Youth: https://www.saskadvocate.ca/
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Fall Prevention Month: Keep it Moving!
At 84 years old, Bob Butts had never imagined that regular exercise would change his life so dramatically. After a serious medical incident, his balance and strength were jeopardized, which put him at risk of a serious fall. Bob understood that his health would need more than a quick fix. It was time to become a consistently active person.
“I had a Stroke in January of 2016, so I came here. When I came here, I couldn’t lift my hand up over my head. I couldn’t get out of the chair without help, and I weighed 256 pounds.”
Bob, and his personal trainer Kim, joke that Bob is now a “gym rat”, meaning he is someone who can often be found at the gym. With a nice morning routine and professional guidance in the weight room, Bob has seen consistent improvement in his physical abilities. The health benefits Bob has experienced from regular exercise keep him coming back.
“I lost 65 pounds of fat and put on some muscle. I can walk in a straight line now, before I was all over the place. I used to get headaches… Kim got me doing these stretches, and before I realized it, I didn’t have headaches anymore.”
Bob came to the gym so he could improve his balance, lose weight, and gain strength. While these goals were achieved, Bob also discovered that working out improved his mental health. This has greatly increased Bob’s confidence in himself and his physical abilities.
“I have no health issues at all anymore. I want to be able to do things with my grandchildren, and great-grandchildren… My wife.”
Bob’s journey reminds us that preventing falls and other serious injuries begins with ourselves. The most common reason for permanent and total disability is falls. Every year, 1 in 3 seniors experience a falling incident. After ensuring our homes are hazard-free, the next step in preventing falls is to strengthen our bodies. Our body is the vehicle in which we navigate our lives. To train our bodies with exercise is to respect our overall health.
If you or a loved one wishes to investigate active lifestyles, first check with your doctor or health care practitioner. There are many Saskatchewan based resources to assist you in your fitness journey:
Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism - Bringing together Saskatchewan seniors organizations
Forever in Motion - Helping older adults become physically active in their communities
Saskatchewan Senior Fitness Association - Activity programs for adults fifty years of age and older
Active Aging Canada - Trusted information and resources for older Canadians
Our Content Team took to the streets in Regina, SK, to ask “How do you prepare for winter driving?”.
Out of all the responses we received, four key points emerge. What were the most important winter driving tips from Saskatchewan drivers? Find out below!
Be Visible - Saskatchewan drivers know that visibility can be a major challenge in the winter. That's why they take extra time to clear their vehicle of ice, snow, and debris before starting a drive. Proper headlights are also important for visibility in traffic. Daytime running lights (DRL's) are sometimes not enough to be seen, especially in snowy, foggy or misty weather.
Be Gentle - Saskatchewan drivers check the weather and road conditions before their trip begins. They also place a greater emphasis on steering smoothly, while gently accelerating and braking when behind the wheel.
Gimme Space - Saskatchewan drivers know that leaving early is a necessary adjustment to make in the winter driving season. Icy roads mean that following distances need to increase to at least 5 seconds, allowing drivers more time to react. Saskatchewan drivers understand that intersections become especially slippery, to adjust, a driver must manage their speed and give extra space for others.
IDPE - Saskatchewan drivers understand that preparation is the best way to prevent collisions. However, in a critical moment, operational skills are a necessary defense. SGI suggests drivers practice the IPDE system. First, (I) - Identify the hazard or risk. Next, (P) - Predict the effect that hazard will have on your path. Then, (D) - Decide your best course of action. Finally, (E) - Execute that action.
What winter driving tips have you learned over the years? Share them in the comments below to help new Saskatchewan drivers!
The 3rd Annual Cade Sprackman Safety Day, held on June 1st at the Hudson Bay Community School, was an inspirational example of what a community dedicated to injury prevention can do. With the help of community volunteers, grades K-6 participated in a bike rodeo, and outdoor survival lessons. Grades 7–12 students interacted with several industry and health professionals, learning about a variety of workplace and recreational safety topics throughout the day.
Cade Sprackman was a Hudson Bay Community School graduate, who was fatally injured in a workplace incident. Cade’s story is always remembered in this community, and we thank the Sprackman family for sharing their experience. Saskatchewan workers under the age of 25 are at the highest risk of injury, with over 3,000 injuries being reported annually. On June 1st, 2022, Hudson Bay, SK showed us the power of a community inspired to prevent young people from being injured or killed.
To kick off the event, Cade’s parents, Michelle and Jerry Sprackman, delivered a speech that inspired students, teachers, and community volunteers. With the audience’s focus squarely on them, they spoke about Cade’s journey. From Hudson Bay to Saskatoon, inspired by his dream of attending arts school, Cade committed himself to a hazardous new job to earn money for his education. Three weeks into his new position, Cade suffered a fatal injury. This was a powerful message for the youth in attendance, coming from parents who are forever inspired to see their community prevent young workers from harm. A quiet, focused gymnasium was reminded how precious life truly is.
As the students began activities for the day, it was apparent they were having fun interacting with the 32 Skill Demonstration Stations that cycle through the Amazing Safety Quest. K-6 students enjoyed a bike rodeo, as well as demonstrations centered around water safety, farm safety, and outdoor safety. Grades 7–12 learned the importance of being safe at work, practicing skills that ensure health and safety are present in every workplace. With many of these students already employed part-time, the hands-on training came at a very opportune time for them.
Feedback received from students indicated that they enjoyed learning about the injury prevention topics through hands-on activities. A team named “Team Tigers” shared that “The Amazing Safety Quest kept us engaged about safety” and that “All of the activities were fun”. Each Team in the Amazing Safety Quest also voted for their favorite Skill Demonstration Station. For some, it was the Mental Health station, for others it was ladder safety, an AED station, the ATV station, a fatal impairment activity, distracted walking, or the lift and carry station. Collecting points through their “Team Passport”, the teams enjoyed a competitive element, spurring their motivation to score high at each station.
Teachers and Community volunteers mentioned how phenomenal it was to see so many local organizations coming together for this year’s Cade Sprackman Safety Day. The station volunteers were made up of local volunteers from health, education, and industry. One volunteer said:
The day prior, grade 10-12 students completed an in-person Defensive Driving Course which emphasized the importance of becoming a defensive driver on the road, citing law requirements, safe driving behaviors, and best practice techniques. Hudson Bay, like many Saskatchewan communities, relies on secondary and rural roads. Youth can use the tools and standards learned in the course to evaluate their own driving.
The Saskatchewan Safety Council will continue to share Cade’s story, to help promote the importance of safety training and to prevent injuries and fatalities in the workplace. Career Safety Education is a FREE online program for youth in Saskatchewan, and with the support of our annual Members, Sponsors, and Donations, a wide variety of additional training is FREE for everyone in the province. Grade 10–12 students completed Career Safety Education before the annual Cade Sprackman Safety Day.
Do you feel an Amazing Safety Quest could benefit your community? You can host your own Amazing Safety Quest, and the materials will be provided for you to do so. Contact Us for materials and information!
Derek Wold, Committee Chair of Steps for Life, shared that their goal for donations was increased three times, and that the Regina area campaign progress raised over $5,000!
Every day, there are 3 workers who die in Canada resulting from a workplace incident, which every year leaves over 1,000 families to heal and try to live on without their loved ones. If you were unable to attend this year, we hope to see you next year! The Steps for Life walk takes place across Canada, and in Saskatchewan, the annual fundraising walks are held in Regina and Saskatoon. We invite you to learn more about Steps for Life and welcome you to join us and continue to offer support to these families suffering and help us to prevent these incidents from happening altogether.
Dr. Ronald Ailsby Donates 30 Acres of Land to Saskatchewan Safety Council for the Development of their Safety Centre of Excellence
What defines a legacy? For a company or employee, it may mean creating a top performing product. For a sports team or athlete, it may mean winning championships or MVP awards. Yet for those who dedicate their life to serving their community, defining a legacy means more than the glimmer of their trophy cabinet. Their legacy depends on the people who surround them. A legacy shared by those people who were inspired by their daily, yearly, and sometimes lifetime commitment to enriching the world that they live in. For this reason, these community champions will have their legacy defined by the very people that they served, educated, and inspired.
For Dr. Ronald Ailsby, this legacy has been established both in Saskatchewan and the world beyond by many patients, students, colleagues, and clients. With every person cared for, with every surgery completed, and with every research paper and scientific publication posted, his legacy grew. And now, with this unprecedented donation to the Saskatchewan Safety Council and the Safety Centre of Excellence project, Dr. Ailsby and his family have extended an invitation to the people of Saskatchewan to live a longer, healthier life for decades and perhaps centuries to come. story continues below video
With this donation of land for the Safety Centre of Excellence, Dr. Ailsby’s legacy continues to grow in Saskatchewan. This chapter will be defined by those who will benefit most. By the children, the young workers, the rural populations, the seniors, and the new Canadians that the Safety Centre of Excellence will serve. It will be defined by the professionals, the industrialists, the scientists and the engineers who at the Safety Centre of Excellence may find an inspiring home for their injury prevention innovations. This will be a legacy defined by the growing pride of a province of people who make the decision to fight injuries through discovery, innovation, and education, all at the Safety Centre of Excellence.
This is a legacy like no other. To Dr. Ronald Ailsby and his family, congratulations on this lifetime achievement. The Saskatchewan Safety Council, and in time, the people of Saskatchewan, offer our most gracious thank you for your generous donation to the Safety Centre of Excellence.
With the support of SaskPower, The Saskatchewan Safety Council presents this nine-part video addressing electrical risks for youth and caregivers.
Ohms, amps, circuits and wires. Electricity can seem like such a complex topic. But do we need to be experts in order to know what risks there are in and around our home?
With the help of SaskPower, we don't need to be geniuses when it comes to electrical hazards. If we learn the risks and practice the lessons, we can avoid injuries while teaching youth electrical safety skills that last a lifetime.
Now included in our babysitter training program resource materials are these nine scenarios which arm youth and caregivers with knowledge and skills to deal with common electrical risks in and around the home. These scenarios were created with SaskPower's homeowner safety recommendations as a guide.
A Caregiver's Guide to Youth and Electricity:
1: In The Dark - Power Outages
What happens when the power goes out? Reach for flashlights and cell phones, not candles. Leave breakers or electrical controls alone for now. Call or text an adult, and stay together with others to wait for instructions.
2: Don't Make an Octopus - Overloading Power Outlets
With too many connections, extension cords and outlets can overheat, and become a tripping hazard. Unplug any unused devices, and keep cords away from walking paths.
3: Always Unplug - When Malfunctions Occur
If something is wrong with an electrical appliance, unplugging it is the first step. If smoke or sparks continue, or if something is on fire, leave the house and call 911.
4: Electricity and Water Don't Mix - Outdoor Electrocution Hazards
Children should be supervised at all times when in or around pools. Keeping electrical devices or power cords away from sprinklers, kiddie pools, or any other water is the best practice.
5: Powerlines are Dangerous - Overhead Powerlines
Flying a kite or a balloon? Find a wide-open space, far away from overhead lines. Windy days can pull the toy further than expected.
6: Keep Away from Outlets - Indoor Electrocution Hazards
Children and toddlers can't help but explore. Cover unused outlets, and always manage plugs-ins yourself.
7: Don't get Zapped - Bathrooms, Bathtubs, and Sinks
There is one room where electronics never go, and that is the bathroom. Keep phones, tablets, and other electronics away from all water sources.
8: Stay Away from Trouble - Substations and Powerhouses
What are those fenced off areas, with big metal structures and cables? Those are substations and powerhouses, and they are dangerous. If a ball or toy gets lost over the fence, never climb over. Call SaskPower, they will send someone to help.
9: Cords are not Toys - Extension Cords
Power cords are never for playing with. Keep unused extension cords unplugged and stored away.
On January 10th, 2022, our skid pad played host to a wonderful group of guests.
Our friends at Regina Regional Local Immigration Partnership (RRLIP) and Catholic Family Services Regina connected us with Saskatchewan drivers who are new to driving on snow and ice. Experienced Saskatchewan drivers, SGI representatives, and local media also joined in the fun.
Together, they practiced emergency driving maneuvers with expert instruction from our traffic team. Our Traffic Safety Specialist, Al Gall, delivered program messaging to local media outlets. Of course, our own content team was on the scene as well!
Enjoy this recap of our special day on the skid pad:
Benson Akinbami had lived in the United Kingdom for many years before coming to Saskatchewan. He has enjoyed ice-free transportation for most of his life. After completing Skid Smart, Benson learned driving skills he may pass along to his family. "I cant sing it enough - for everyone who has the opportunity to come down here... and learn how to actually avoid trouble before trouble strikes."
"I was very curious about this activity... Because I had not taken (this type of) training anywhere." Says Nirad Shukla, a Saskatchewan newcomer from India. "After taking this course, I am 100% confident".
"The final exercise was very useful for me" said Thi Cam Van Mai, who arrived in Saskatchewan with her family one year ago. "I think that I can control my vehicle in winter condition(s)".
"If you have an incident, which you'll have from time to time I'm sure, you've gotten the experience now that you can control your car". Says Regina's Darlene Lepine. Darlene has lived in Saskatchewan her whole life, but was still able to learn some new skills to practice. "You might be able to stop an accident from happening".
Skid Smart in the News
Participating media outlets had a great time documenting the Skid Smart Collision Avoidance Course:
CTV Morning Live: https://regina.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2357074
CTV Evening News: https://regina.ctvnews.ca/sask-safety-council-sgi-host-winter-driving-course-1.5734524
Global Evening News: https://globalnews.ca/news/8502861/saskatchewan-safety-council-winter-driving-course/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
Our Traffic Safety Specialist Al Gall had some fun answering questions on John Gormley's live radio show:
Gormley Live: https://www.ckom.com/2022/01/17/show-segments-monday-january-17-2022/
The comments section was lively on the Regina Leader Post's Facebook page:
Regina Leader Post: https://www.facebook.com/reginaleaderpost/posts/6269266139756462
Dress for the Cold: Dress in Layers
Do you need winter clothes? Do you know a family that might be in need? Visit sk.211.ca to find winter clothes in your community.
Have you recently seen someone clenched up, skin exposed, with incomplete winter clothing? Someone without gloves, proper footwear, or head protection?
It may be tempting to assume that person was unprepared, in a rush, or underestimated the weather that day. However, the reason someone may be dressed inappropriately for winter weather could be that they do not know any better, or, that they did not have a choice.
A decent winter jacket is the first step. But even in normal Saskatchewan winter conditions, a jacket is simply not enough. The reality is, winter clothing needs to be dressed in layers to be effective.
Fingers, toes, ears and nose. These extremities are the first targets of frostbite. Dressing for the weather means layering up, including hands, feet, neck, and face. Are you wearing a jacket, but still feeling cold? Gloves, scarf, head and face warmers could be the missing pieces to your winter outfit.
Three misunderstandings about winter clothing:
1. “Clothes need to fit tightly.”
Tight fitting socks, shoes, and underwear can actually constrict blood flow, leaving you feeling colder than before. Dry, loose-fitting clothing will trap air between layers, which is what keeps you warm.
2. “Working hard = warmer”
Keep in mind that sweat is the catalyst to hypothermia, as too much moisture will rob your body of heat. In an emergency, or rescue situation, “keep moving” is good advice. In normal conditions, sweating under your layers is a bad thing!
3. “A good winter jacket is enough”
A jacket or “shell” is a great addition to your winter outfit. But, dressing for the weather needs to be a full body effort! Any cracks, crevasses, and gaps in your layers will drain body heat.
Do you have extra clothes to donate to someone in need? Do you know of someone, a family, or a group of people in need of winter clothing? Visit sk.211.ca to find donation centers in your community!
Today, our own Traffic Safety Specialist and Skid Smart Collision Avoidance Instructor, Al Gall, participated in the kickoff of SGI’s November Traffic Safety Spotlight alongside Tyler McMurchy, SGI Media Relations. The two provided information on intersection and winter driving safety before fielding questions.
Intersections account for almost half of the total collisions in Saskatchewan. The onset of winter driving conditions only amplifies the danger in these high-risk areas.
This November, make intersection safety a part of your driving awareness efforts. What preparations can you make to ensure safe winter driving?
A Spooktactular Time is Upon Us!
The leaves are falling, the air is beginning to feel cool, and we are starting to pull out our jackets each morning only to take them off again at Noon. We are beginning to prepare for the dreaded ‘S’ word, which will be here before we know it. Perhaps I’m not the only one who has noticed there is something else in the air... the spirit of Halloween!
We are beginning to see the spooky yards with decorations, parents in the store with costumes in hand and carts full of candy. This time of year is magical for all ages! Children will soon fill the sidewalks with all kinds of characters, ready to experience the fun filled evening that Halloween provides for the youngsters in our community. For adults, seeing all the children can bring us pure happiness and laughter, at least it does for me. When I see the different costumes, and the dedication that children have to venturing out in our Saskatchewan weather on Halloween night, I enjoy seeing their spirit and sense their joy. To witness the little ones taking part in a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation is magical to see.
With all the fun to be had, we want to ensure safety is top priority! Each child should be able to have a 'spooktacular' night from start to finish, and get home safe to enjoy some treats to end the night. Watch the video to review a few safety tips:
We are almost ready to shout, “Trick or Treat”! Halloween night can be a chilly one, I know putting our costumes over a snowsuit is no fun, but being warm means keeping ourselves safe. The weather is constantly changing at this time of year, so to ensure adults and the children are dressed appropriately, double check what the temperature will be for trick or treating.
Sometimes there are potential hazards when it comes to decorations, such as candles inside Halloween decorations, perhaps inside pumpkins, so it is best to keep a safe distance and be cautious.
Being visible is one thing, but having visibility is another! Are you able to see out of your costume? Perhaps there is a potential tripping hazard with your costume, we want to protect ourselves and others from having a trip occur. Make sure an adult goes through each child’s candy haul before they indulge in their delicious collection. Any suspicious items in the bag like opened wrappers or lose candy should be discarded, to be on the safe side.
Respect the space of others while going door to door. Social distancing is a big part of the world we live in today, so keep a safe distance of 6 feet from others who are not part of your group.
Although Halloween is mostly an outdoor adventure, face masks worn can be a brilliant idea to keep each other safe. Consider wearing a face mask if your costume leaves your face exposed. By following a few safety tips, your Halloween night will be nothing but 'TERROR-ific' fun!
Let’s hear from you! What will you and your family be dressed as this Halloween?
Community Relations Coordinator
The ultimate title of ‘man’s best friend’ has been well earned over the last millennia by our canine companions. That is, until recently. A new companion has arrived: It is electronic, it fits in our pocket, and even though its computing power surpasses most ten-year-old desktops, we still underwhelmingly call it a ‘phone’. As these electronic devices become more integral to our everyday lives, this new iteration of ‘man’s best friend’ is now regularly in our hands at the coffee shop, grocery store, at our workplaces, and in our homes. Rather than setting aside dedicated time to operating these devices, they are invited with us wherever we go. This is where a danger exists, because as we rely on our mobile electronic tools more and more, the temptation to multitask grows stronger. The lines are becoming blurred between a safe moment and an unsafe moment to operate these handheld devices, because their use as we complete daily tasks is perceived as more natural every day.
What can be said about our new electronic companions that have not become obvious? Yes, they are a distraction. Yes, they have become necessary. And no, there is no alternative for them in sight. Discovery, communication, entertainment-it’s all there on our devices. For those concerned about dangerous distractions, the expulsion of these devices from society cannot be a reasonable objective. No rational argument can be made to remove these machines from our lives. Limitations on their use, like distracted driving laws, are working towards a solution. But what about other situations where multitasking on a mobile device becomes a distraction?
The real problem with our new electronic best friend is becoming clear. These powerful handheld computers can present a danger to our wellbeing because we seem unable to resist operating them whilst conducting our daily business. Learning which situations are suitable to sneak a quick look down at our devices, and which are not, is a valuable step in understanding the risky situations we put ourselves in every day. So, when is an appropriate time to utilize these mobile tools? If it is too distracting to use a device while driving or cycling, is an everyday task like walking down the street also too hazardous to justify operating our ‘phones’?
In 2018, researchers in British Columbia at UBC Kamloops investigated this concept of distracted walking. Researchers set up cameras to track the prevalence of mobile device use at a busy intersection. They found that over 1/3 of pedestrians were using a device while crossing the street. The analysis revealed that “A significant difference was found between mean gait characteristics of step velocity, cadence, double limb support, and mean step length during normal walking and walking while texting”. Long study short, these distracted pedestrians became an identifiably different type of pedestrian as they used their electronic devices.
Prevention of injuries and fatalities is the reason we design and implement walking infrastructure and traffic accommodation. These safety measures are designed to protect us as undistracted pedestrians, focused on walking, with our eyes generally directed forward. But, could any preventative measure be enough for the new generation of multitasking, tech-savvy, and extremely distracted pedestrians?
Being late is a terribly anxious feeling. If we are driving a vehicle while running late, this terrible feeling is only amplified. Every red light becomes a personal attack, every vehicle in front of us becomes an obstruction, and worst of all, there is almost no solution to the problem. Once someone has fallen behind schedule, that time has passed and can’t be brought back. This is how being late can provoke dangerous temptations. Some drivers will try speeding, quick maneuvering, rushing through intersections, and otherwise turning their vehicle into a Formula 1 racecar, all in the hopes of “saving time”. In this situation, sending a text message with warnings and excuses of your impending lateness can become a major temptation. When we see these reckless drivers on the roads, it’s obvious to the rest of us in traffic - “Wow, that person must be late!”. As we contemplate these pressures while driving in a rush, running late must be considered the most significant daily temptation to push our driving behaviors beyond the realm of safe.
So, what are the risks of driving with this rushed mindset? When it comes to distracted driving, most of us know that using a cell phone is unsafe. For about 11 years, there have been laws in Saskatchewan that carry some considerable punishments for doing so. Even with these well-known rules that have been proven to save many lives, “driver inattention and distraction is responsible for 21% of all collisions” – https://www.sgi.sk.ca/handbook/-/knowledge_base/drivers/distracted-driving. Speed also continues to be a major problem in Saskatchewan. Drivers, at times, claim that “being late” was their reason for driving above the speed limit. Being late is known to create anxiety, and an anxious person is one who will more likely resort to unsafe behaviors. There is a temptation to correct lateness by speeding, which multiplies the chances of a collision. It seems that no matter how aware a driver may be of these dangerous behaviors, the temptation to overcome a mistake, like leaving late, becomes too strong to ignore.
If we think about it, the simple truth is this: By the time our vehicle pulls out of a parking spot, the opportunity to “save time” with any significant effect is gone. So, let's rewind to the source of being late, to the original reason why one would become anxious, and otherwise tempted to engage in speeding, distracted driving, or a variety of other unsafe behaviours in the first place. Any journey starts by leaving the current destination. So, what can be done in preparation, before our journey begins, to ensure that we are ready to drive while staying distraction and anxiety free?
Community Stories from Community Voices with the New Saskatchewan Safety Council Content Team: A Modern Way for us to Work Together
As families and friends are finally able to spend a bit more quality time together, a sense of unification has filled the summer air with a fellowship that was sorely missed. Co-workers have been reunited in their workplaces, isolated individuals have returned to their families, and children are able to play together after what must have seemed like an eternity. Wedding vows are being recited, anniversaries are being celebrated, and grandparents are finally meeting their new grandchildren for the very first time.
By following our organization, you have indicated that the safety of those closest to you is a top priority. Today there is a vast, and often overwhelming, amount of information in constant competition for your attention. As this information battlefield plays out on our phones, computers, newspapers, and social media apps, it has become clear that your attention is a very valuable thing. We are honoured by your decision to share your attention with us.
The Council has always taken pride in listening to and responding as the needs of the community changes. Our newly formed content team will do just that, in a more modern and rapidly responsive way. We will listen to, learn from, and respond to the residents of this province, giving a voice to issues that matter most
“Our new Content Team will not be about the glamourization of traumatic events in an attempt to attract eyeballs. It will take the shape of an ongoing sustainable series of conversations that will prevent such events from happening in the first place. It won't be about talking at people and telling them what to do. Nor will it be about bubble-wrapping our youth,” said Robert Weitzel, Director of Development. “We will be asking questions that uncover answers that will lead to better hazard awareness. What we are doing will help people understand and manage the risky situations they encounter every day, regardless of where those happen. Not only will we continue to develop new resources and training tools based on these conversations, but we will also regularly post new video content, host live shows that will be simulcast to multiple social media platforms, facilitate call-in shows, and produce podcasts. Our audience will be the drivers of what we do next.”
“A Province of Safety Excellence” can only be achieved with you. We are excited to meet with community leaders, to continue work with Saskatchewan organizations, and to serve anyone who wishes to participate in the conversations. Our subscribers want to hear from you, so they can learn from you. Our eyes and ears are open. Join us as we explore Saskatchewan like never before.
Good-bye Summer, You Will Be Missed
Pictured here is Star, she was up for adoption when we were creating this safety content but has since been adopted and I am sure she is enjoying her new home with her family.
Our pets are a part of our family, and to some, they are our children. Remember to keep them safe and cool in the summer heat. Now that fall is here, we may not have to worry about the hot summer temperatures, but we do have to remember these tips for when summer comes around again. Lavina, Amanda, & Star
Lavina, Amanda, & Star
Safety content is being created each and every day. I want to say a huge thank you to our volunteers, our subscribers, our members, and our community champions for your help in creating, sharing, and helping us work towards a province of safety excellence in Saskatchewan!
If you would like to become a volunteer with us, please reach out, we would be overjoyed to work with you. You can send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Thanks for taking time to read the Blog. For now, we have to say good-bye to summer, and hello to fall! Stay tuned everyone, more safety content is on the way.
Driving through a school zone is more than simply slowing down to 30 km/h. It also requires a strong layer of attention and patience, which are most effective when they are working hand in hand. This gives drivers the ability to better react to a potentially sudden situation. A child can be injured just as severely by a car driving at 30 km/h as one moving at 50km/h however the reduced speed gives the driver much more control of the vehicle and the ability to pay more attention to the surroundings.
An excellent safe practice is to create a wider school zone area than that of the posted 30km/h signs. You don’t necessarily have to slow down (it would be great if you did) but widening the zone by a few blocks has many benefits. You mentally prepare yourself before entering the actual school zone instead of spending the first block paying your attention to slowing down. As well, children are walking to and from school much farther away than the school zone so you’re creating an even safer environment for them to walk in. This is especially important during the winter season.
Keep in mind the attention of a child can be very narrow. While they understand safety rules and procedures, such as looking both ways before crossing a street, they may not be able to see a potential problem as far ahead as an adult. Therefore, it is up to the driver to take up the responsibility and make sure we’re ready for anything that can happen in a school zone. Slow down, pay attention, and make safety the right choice.
School buses are a unique vehicle on the road. They make frequent stops, often in places that other vehicles don’t such as railway crossings. They have access to areas that we aren’t used to accounting for in normal traffic flow which can catch us by surprise. They also have a lot of lights and signs that can be confusing for other drivers to understand what exactly to do since there are different models of school buses and different laws that apply to them. If we aren’t prepared for all of the extra possible scenarios a school bus can present to us, then the chances of an incident increase.
The best way to start preparing yourself is to know the school bus laws. Each city, town and village has their own bylaws for school buses so if you move to a new area, check with City Hall for clarification. For Regina and Saskatoon, the use of flashing safety lights and bus stop arms are prohibited. While this seems odd, there are actually very good reasons for this. As Sgt. Koroluk from the Regina Police Service states:
Another way to adjust your driving during the school season is to leave 5-10 minutes earlier than normal for work for the first few weeks of September. This will give you that extra time to deal with increased traffic in school zones and to compensate if you have school buses in front of you that make frequent stops. If you find after those few weeks that there isn’t any interruption, then go ahead and take back those extra 10 minutes of sleep!
Not only will making this time adjustment make sure you get to work on time, it also ensures that you keep calm during your drive. If a school bus is holding you up and making you late for work, your stress level will increase. You might accelerate quickly around a bus or speed above the limit after the bus isn’t in front of you which greatly increases your chance of a traffic incident. Then you’ll be late for work and you potentially injure someone.
Take the time to plan for the increased traffic changes from school buses. Students, parents, and bus drivers will all appreciate you for it.
A popular practice for the police during the school year is to set up speed radars in school zones. It is a pretty sure bet that every school zone in your city or town will see a police setup within the first few weeks of the school year.
A vehicle takes a longer distance to stop even at slightly higher speeds. A simple concept, yes, but it’s more than you may know.
According to Forensic Dynamics Inc., here is the stopping distance for vehicles travelling at 40/50/60 km/h in ideal conditions:
40 km/h = 8.6 meters
50 km/h = 14.05 meters
60 km/h = 20.24 meters
These numbers, of course, can vary depending on the type of vehicle, tires, etc. however the point is that even from 40 to 50 km/h there is a significant difference in how long it takes your vehicle to stop.
It would be a true achievement if a school zone speed radar blitz issued zero tickets. That is the goal of the police service and it should be everyone else’s goal as well to make safety the right choice and not speed.
Tips to keep your stairs and stairways safe. Have tips you'd like to share? Comment below.
Why Don't you just Put a Plug in it.
Knowing how to properly insert an earplug will pay off in the bedroom and in the workplace. The later leading to an increase in the possibility that you may actually be able to hear your grandchildren wish you a happy birthday.
Community – What Does it Mean?
The definition of “community” is a group of people living in the same place or having a characteristic in common and a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. Here at the Saskatchewan Safety Council, we are dedicated to the prevention of injury across our province, creating a province of safety excellence! Do we want everyone to make safety their number one priority? Yes, absolutely! With your help, we can spread the word and spread the action, prevent injury in Saskatchewan… at home, at play, and at work. Being out in the community, allows me to engage and interact with others, show the great work we are trying to accomplish and hear feedback on what is needed in the communities as well.
My name is Amanda LePine and I am the Community Relations Coordinator with the Saskatchewan Safety Council. Born and raised here in Regina, I’ve seen how the city has changed and how it has grown. I love our city, and am proud to be a city-girl from Regina, SK. Every day, I learn more about the places, people and cultures that are in the community. Interacting with people brings me such joy and being out in the community, learning new things, and building relationships is what excites me about future possibilities.
Lavina Wagner, our Content Specialist and I have been busy safety bees the last couple of months- making connections, taking video footage and pictures for our content that we are working hard to create. We are creating informative safety videos for the simple tasks that you may do every day, but are we doing the task safely? Riding a bike, wearing a helmet, and using your stair case at home, are you holding the railing when going up or down? Do you have a railing installed? Tips and tricks on how to be cautious in your bathroom, living room, laundry room and outside of your home, having tools and checklists in place will allow you to be prepared for a potential hazard, and to realize something you do every single day may not be the safest way to complete the task at hand.
That’s what Darlene helped us with, doing what she does every day on video: laundry, walking up and down the stairs, making a cup of coffee, folding towels, simple tasks that will help us build our content for our informational videos! Lavina and I arranged a meeting with a roofing professional named David who has been roofing since he was 17 years old. He allowed us take footage of him preparing for a roofing job, showed us how to safely wear and assemble a harness. Are you safe for the job and using
Adventuring out into the community we made connections with the Regina Senior Centre on Winnipeg Street. We were fortunate to attend one of their afternoons of dance, three hours of polka, line dancing and meeting those who took time out of their day to attend this amazing event (which is open to all ages by the way!).
Lavina and I boogied to the music and bless miss Gladys’ heart who tried to teach me to line dance, but I have two left feet (which I inherited from my mother, thanks mom!). Then we joined the fellas in the Pool Room and got to chat with those who have been going to the center for years. To play, they purchase tickets or become members with the center, but when you hit the age of 90, you play for free!
Mr. Abel was celebrating his 91st birthday on April 17, 2019. We got to sing him happy birthday and enjoy some delicious cake! Gabe, an 88-year-old member has been coming to the center for years. You can find him in the Pool Room every Wednesday and Friday enjoying a good game of pool with great people, staying active and having fun while doing so.
I look forward to meeting and interacting with others in our community. We want to share your story, share your ideas, and the work we have done… together. In the meantime, don’t be a stranger, you can connect with me at any time, we are all part of this community.
Falls are Costly
Did you know our province spends millions treating injuries associated with home falls? Taking the time to ensure your loved ones are as safe as possible at home could save you more than just money.
The most common reason for permanent and total disability is falls. There have been years in which falls have cost the province of Saskatchewan over 300 million dollars. Residential falls in 2010 cost the province 153 million. The most common reason for injury around the home is a slip, trip, or fall. Find fall prevention resources here.