Newfoundland and Labrador spends $80,000 to boost safety for young workers

Province makes Passport to Safety program available to high school students for next three years

In an effort to boost young people’s awareness about on-the-job safety, the Newfoundland and Labrador government is injecting $80,000 over the next three years into the Passport to Safety program.

Passport to Safety is a national health and safety awareness program, developed by Safe Communities Canada, a Toronto-based non-profit firm created following the death of Sean Kells, a 19-year-old who was killed on the third day of his part-time job. The goal of the program is to revolutionize thinking among youth about workplace safety.

Susan Sullivan, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, said the decision to spend the money was made in response to feedback from many young people who said making workplaces safer was one of their priorities.

“We feel that making the Passport to Safety online resource freely available to young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will contribute significantly towards building a stronger safety culture within the province,” said Sullivan.

Through Passport to Safety, young workers can complete an online safety test designed to help them build their workplace safety knowledge, as well as their confidence in recognizing unsafe work environments and exercising their rights and responsibilities at work. After completing the program, participants earn a certificate they can attach to their resumés.

The program will be available to high-school aged youth in the province throughout the 2010/11 to 2011/12 period. To sign up, youth can visit and create an account.

“It is important our high school students understand not only the importance of safety in the classroom, but on worksites as well,” said Darin King, Minister of Education. “Many students will require these skills in part-time or summer jobs, in post-secondary education and in their future careers. Having safe work skills and knowledge under their belts will mean improved safety for everyone.”

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