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Province to Expand Workplace Safety Program in Schools

Department of Education
May 13, 2010 10:51 AM
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Nova Scotia students will soon know more about how to prevent a workplace injuries, thanks to new curriculum based on a successful pilot project.

The program focusing on the importance of workplace health and safety was piloted to 330 Grade 9 students from across the province this past academic year. Their teachers, from the Tri County, Cape Breton-Victoria, Halifax, South Shore and Annapolis Valley Regional school boards, met with Department of Education staff, today, May 13, to discuss the benefits and identify any necessary revisions. It will be introduced into all schools in the next academic year.

"We are committed to creating good jobs in this province, and good jobs exist in safe workplaces," said Marilyn More, Minister of Education and Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. "By teaching young people their rights as workers, we are encouraging the open dialogue and discussions needed to create safer work environments."

The departments of Education and Labour and Workforce Development and the Workers' Compensation Board developed the eight hours of in-class instruction, which is part of the compulsory Healthy Living 9 course.

"My students now recognize a safety hazard when they see it, and they understand the consequences of saying nothing," said John Helle, who teaches at Malcolm Munroe Junior High School. "My students have told me that they are bringing more concerns forward in their part-time jobs, and it is my hope that they will carry these important skills throughout their careers."

Like many other provinces, the number of youth joining the workforce in Nova Scotia is increasing. According to Statistics Canada, 62,700 Nova Scotians age 15 to 24 are part of the workforce. In 2009, almost 1,000 workers younger than 24 lost time form work through injury.

"Nothing is more important to parents than the safety of their son or daughter," said Ms. More. "The number of workplace injuries among youth is unacceptable, and I am glad to know that all Grade 9 students in the province will have this awareness and these important skills as they enter the workforce."


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Media Contact:
Chrissy Matheson
Department of Education
902-424-8307
Cell: 902-476-1141
E-mail: mathescl@gov.ns.ca

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