Take our Kids to Work Day – inquest recommendations

Consent forms, safety guidelines, speed limits for motorized vehicles on work sites and a prohibition on students operating any type of motorized vehicle

The jury has made a series of recommendations in the inquest looking into the tragedy at the Welland John Deere Plant during Take our Kids to Work Day.

Two 14-year-olds, Robert Fulbrook and Amanda Peat, were killed when they accidentally crashed a small motorized vehicle they were driving last November. Take our Kids to Work Day is an annual event held to allow children to visit their parents’ workplace, to help prepare them for the working world.

In its statement, the jury recognized the educational value of the Take our Kids to Work program, endorsing its philosophy and goals, and encouraged John Deere’s continued involvement in the program.

The Business Education Council of Niagara and the John Deere Welland Works Plant were instructed to provide a response to the Office of the Chief Coronor regarding the recommendations, within one year.

The recommendations made by the inquest jury include:

•develop informed consent forms that contain workplace health and safety messages, signed by both students and parent/guardian stating they understand the events in which the student will be participating.

•develop a common agenda consistent with safety and health policies/guidelines setting restrictions which apply to students in the workplace. Specifically, ensuring that:

1) students are under adult supervision at all times in the workplace;

2) although "hands-on" is a beneficial teaching method, under no circumstances allow a student participating in any educational program to operate any motorized vehicle; and

3) remove all keys from the iginitions of motorized vehicles on Take our Kids to Work Day.

•employers ensure all employees and parties involved thoroughly understand the dates of, agendas for, and safety rules which apply to, any educational program which involves students in the workplace.

•mandatory orientation incorporating safety rules and hazards geared to students participating in any educational program to be conducted by a qualified individual/health and safety representative upon arrival at the workplace.

•the learning partnership, the business education council of Niagara and all workplaces ensure that any continued participation in the Take our Kids to Work or any other educational program which involves students in the workplace continue to explore, improve and implement regulations regarding health and safety.

•the learning partnership includes in its resource materials, details of any legislation relating to minimum age requirements for workplaces.

•consider feedback from all parties to be incorporated to amend or develop future agendas.

•govern the speed limit of any motorized vehicle (without a speedometer) in a factory environment to ensure safe operating practices. Example: Area A – speed limit is 15 km/h; Area B – speed limit is 10 km/h; Governor – maximum 10 km/h. (The jury feels uncontrolled speed may have been a contributing factor).

•adopt a zero-tolerance policy for ignoring health and safety guidelines.

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