Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
Provincial government and WorkSafeNB team up to enhance safety practices in schools07 November 2013
FREDERICTON (GNB) – A new partnership among WorkSafeNB, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour has been developed to ensure New Brunswick schools have the safest possible learning environment.
The collaborative effort is underway as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed today by Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Marie-Claude Blais, Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr and WorkSafeNB president and chief executive officer Gerard Adams.
“All young New Brunswickers must be able to learn in positive, inclusive environments at safe and healthy schools,” Blais said. “Through this partnership, we will be able to enhance safety practices at schools for the benefit of all students.”
The initiative stems from research that shows that initiating safety awareness with students in the education system helps them to develop safe attitudes and habits as adults.
“Not only is our government working to improve student safety at schools, we are also helping to prepare them for tomorrow's work environments by instilling in them these important practices today,” Carr said. “By working together we can, and will, improve safety for everyone, whether it's at school or in the workplace.”
The focus of the memorandum is to use the expertise of the three parties to create a culture of safety within schools and society.
Under the agreement WorkSafeNB will:
● participate in the development of safety resources to address several learning outcomes within curricular areas;
● collaborate with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to ensure vocational classrooms are safe by assisting teachers and schools to develop and sustain safe procedures to follow when operating equipment and storing materials;
● provide professional learning in subject areas such as physical education, skilled trades, co-op education, and science to enhance safety practices in schools and work-related placements;
● partner with the New Brunswick Construction Safety Association to provide online learning opportunities, such as Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System and Orientation to Safety, to be used by teachers and students; and
● work with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, schools districts and high schools across New Brunswick to provide safety presentations.
Under the agreement, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will:
● provide WorkSafeNB with curriculum and pedagogical expertise in the development of safety resources;
● reference WorkSafeNB resources in curricula where appropriate; and
● collaborate with WorkSafeNB to organize professional learning sessions.
“Studies show that young workers are at greater risk of injury than their more senior colleagues,” Adams said. “Reaching students at an early age can ingrain safety behaviours that will promote a stronger workplace culture for future generations. We are proud to be a part of this important partnership that will not only benefit our children, but all New Brunswickers.”
Under an agreement with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the New Brunswick Construction Safety Association currently makes two online courses on health and safety, each of which normally costs $35, available to any student or instructor free of charge.
“I commend and thank the New Brunswick Construction Safety Association for its generosity and its willingness to partner with the department, developing and providing online learning resources for the benefit of students and staff,” Blais said. “The association's contribution is greatly appreciated.”