Changes needed for kids’ work-shadow program

By Laura Cassiani
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/04/2003

An expert safety panel is urging stricter, more uniform safety guidelines for a national job shadowing programs for students.

Some of the key recommendations for Take Our Kids to Work Day — which allows Grade 9 students to shadow a parent or relative at work for a day — include having students and parents sign consent forms that outline the importance of safety at work, beginning the program with mandatory orientations that focus on relevant health and safety issues at workplaces and requiring a full workplace safety inspection before employers can participate in the program.

The 16-member safety panel, formed by the Learning Partnership, a non-profit organization that runs the job-shadowing program, released 14 recommendations last month. The panel, made up of safety specialists from companies across the country, was created in light of the tragic accident that marked last year’s program. Two 14-year-olds died at the John Deere Welland Works, in southern Ontario, after crashing the cart-like vehicle they were operating alone. A coroner’s inquest is being scheduled to investigate what went on that day and if the children were being supervised. The safety panel’s recommendations have been sent to the Ontario coroner’s office.