(Canadian OH&S News) — Newfoundland and Labrador’s workers’ compensation board, the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC), has announced that it will offer First Aid/CPR training free of charge to high school students enrolled in the Workplace Safety 3220 (WS 3220) course.
WS 3220 is offered as a high school course in 36 schools across Newfoundland and Labrador, including those in Mary’s Harbour, Corner Brook, Botwood, Grand Bank and Mount Pearl. First introduced in 1998, the course includes such topics as occupational health and safety legislation, workplace inspections, accident/incident investigation, and hazard recognition, evaluation and control, said WHSCC CEO Leslie Galway.
“The course encourages students to develop a positive attitude towards their health and safety, both on and off the job,” Galway said. “Students who complete WS 3220 enter the workforce with certification in WHMIS, first aid/CPR and as a worker health and safety representative.”
Galway said that since first aid/CPR training in the workplace is required by law, it would be a critical component of WS 3220 and help Newfoundland and Labrador youth enter the workforce prepared for medical emergencies. “It is an integral part of learning how to prevent injuries and how to effectively respond should an injury occur both at work and in the community,” she said. “This training will help save lives.”
First aid/CPR training has been part of the curriculum since WS 3220 began in 1998, Galway said, with the student and/or parent paying for the training. However, Calgary-based Husky Energy recently announced that it would contribute $75,000 over the next three years to train about 3,000 students at no cost to the student and/or parent. The training is supplied through a contract with St. John Ambulance, Galway added.
Malcolm Maclean, senior vice-president of Husky Energy’s Atlantic region, said that he believes bringing first aid and CPR training to high school students across Newfoundland and Labrador will help them build skills and confidence. It will also mean that communities will have more trained responders in the event of an emergency, he said.
The WHSCC added in a press release that its focus on educating the province’s youth on injury prevention was working. Young workers aged 15 to 24 continue to lead the province in reducing workplace injuries, with youth reporting 1.5 lost-time injuries per 100 workers in 2013, up slightly from 1.4 in 2012. “This rate continues to trend below the provincial injury rate, showing that both our youth and their employers benefit from an early awareness of how to prevent injuries at work,” the press release said.
The WHSCC supports several youth-oriented programs that promote awareness of workplace health and safety, including the trivia game show Who Wants to Save a Life? and an annual video and radio contest.