World record attempt puts spotlight on workplace safety

Injured worker and Paralympic medallist trying for most "high fives" in Vancouver on Friday

Injured worker and Paralympic medallist Josh Dueck is going to attempt to set a world record on Friday, Aug. 27, to bring attention to the issue of workplace safety.

Dueck is going to try and record the most “high fives” by any individual in 24 hours, starting at 6 p.m. at Empire Field and the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) in Vancouver. The Guinness World Record for most high fives in 24 hours currently stands at 3,131. That record was set by Blake Rodgers, an American from Rhode Island, on Aug. 25, 2008.

Dueck's record attempt is part of WorkSafeBC’s Raise Your Hand campaign — an annual initiative to increase young workers’ understanding of their safety rights and how to stay safe at work.

“This is more than a record attempt,” said Dueck, who will be raising his hand to high five people attending the BC Lions game and at the PNE. “It’s about making workplaces safer for everyone, but especially young workers. Life is full of choices. So, raise your hand and know your rights.”

Since becoming paralyzed from the waist down in a workplace accident at the age of 23, Dueck has become a world-champion para-alpine skier. He has won national and international competitions and recently won a silver medal at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. As a member of the WorkSafeBC Paralympic Speaker program, Dueck has shared his experiences with youth across B.C. for the past several years.

“Josh makes an incredibly strong and lasting impact on his audiences who learn of the high price he paid for taking risks as a young worker and of how a renewed focus on his abilities led to his achievements in sport and to new challenges like this world record attempt,” said Scott McCloy, WorkSafeBC director of communications. “We encourage everyone to come out to the PNE on Aug. 27 and 28 to help us break this world record. Come out and raise a hand for Josh and help raise awareness of young worker safety.”

About the Raise Your Hand campaign

Since 2007, the Raise Your Hand campaign has been raising awareness about workplace safety to the province’s 350,000 young workers. In addition to and other social media tools, street teams travel to youth-oriented events, high schools, and universities around the province to spread the safety message.

The good news is that the injury rate for young workers today is 30 percent lower than it was 10 years ago, according to WorkSafeBC, but there is still much that employers, co-workers, parents, teachers, and young workers themselves can do to make sure everyone gets home safely at the end of each work day.

WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a board of directors that serves about 2.3 million workers and more than 200,000 employers.

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