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
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: email@example.com 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.
Today, the Saskatchewan Safety Council is hosting the second annual ‘Cade Sprackman Safety Day’ at Hudson Bay Community School.
Students participating in this one-day event have previously completed online safety education through the Career Safety Education program and will further expand their knowledge by learning about Fall Protection and Fire Safety from the Saskatchewan Safety Council, Lockout and Control of Hazardous Energy with Weyerhaeuser, and Eye Protection, Ladder Safety, Hazard Recognition and Head Protection from Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA).
As an additional sponsorship, Weyerhaeuser will also provide a BBQ lunch for the entire Hudson Bay Community School.
On January 27th, 2015, Cade Sprackman was killed at his workplace. Michelle, Cade’s mom, said, “I remember him and I talking about what sort of work he would be doing. I asked him about safety and he assured me it was safe. I will never forget the night the RCMP came to the door with 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 has advocated for youth safety in the workplace and supports Career Safety Education for youth. “Career safety education is so vitally important. Cade naively saw his workplace as safe as he had nothing to compare it to. His employer told him it was safe and so he believed it. We all think that someone has our back; that systems are in place to keep us safe. Systems are only as good as the people behind them and people are fallible. Just like we have to be defensive drivers today, we have to be defensive on the worksite as well.”
Cade, who was raised and educated in Hudson Bay, was creative and imaginative and loved the arts as well as gaming and cinema. He aspired one day to work in the arts as a cinema director.
A video on Cade's story can be viewed on YouTube.
Career Safety Education encourages the development of awareness, attitudes and habits which result in a culture of safety affecting both workplace and home life. Career Safety Education is the first program of its kind in North America, providing universal access to safety training to all youth in Saskatchewan. Thanks to generous partners, the training is completely FREE for youth between 14 and 21 years of age.
Career Safety Education is comprised of Young Worker’s Readiness Certificate Course (YWRCC), Mental Health - Wellness Strategies, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), and an elective from the following: Agriculture: Online Agriculture Training System (OATS), Heavy Construction Roadbuilders: Roadbuilders Safety Training System (RSTS), Trades and Building Construction: Safety Construction Orientation Training (SCOT), and Healthcare: Workplace Assessment and Violence Education (WAVE).
Amanda LePine, Community Relations Coordinator, at the Saskatchewan Safety Council is grateful that the Sprackman Family is sharing their story. She comments that “Cade Sprackman had a vision and dreams to do what he loved. Parents, youth and employers need to hear his story and work to promote safety for youth while at work. We are honoured to be a part of the Cade Sprackman Safety Day and thankful for the support of partners and sponsors. Hopefully hearing Cade’s story will help to prevent youth injuries and fatalities in the workplace.”
The Cade Sprackman Safety Day is an annual event. To be involved, contact the Council at 306-757-3197.
Cade Sprackman Safety Day Schedule