Video contest a great chance for adults to take a lesson from the kids


For as long as I’ve been involved in health and safety, people have been looking for the magic answer – the way to change attitudes about safety; change cultures in the workplace; convince employers to invest in safety and convince workers to always take their own safety seriously. Too bad there IS no magic answer.

But there ARE powerful ways of conveying those messages. When it comes to making the case for safety in two minutes or less, some of the most moving and effective messages I’ve seen have been videos created by students for the annual It’s Your Job video contest.

It’s Your Job is a national contest encouraging high school students to create a video which illustrates the importance of working safely.  Each of the provinces and territories participates with a contest at that level, and provincial winners go on to the Canada-wide stage.

Entries in past years have run the gamut from cute animated shorts to heart-rending emotional stories. They’ve depicted workplace hazards and injuries, and the consequences for family and friends when something goes wrong. Winning videos are available online, and are shared widely in the networks of safety professionals.

This is a great chance for adults to take a lesson from kids.  It’s wonderful to imagine all the workers out there who may think twice about a hazard because of one of these videos. I also like to remember that each of the students who participated in creating a video spent many hours thinking about safety. They put time and energy into figuring out what message might convince others to work safely and to create safe environments. That has to be a good thing.

If you know a student, pass him or her the link to the contest. Or forward it along to the media arts teacher at your local high school. Even if they don’t win a prize, everybody wins.

Learn more about the It’s Your Job video contest through the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). There are prizes up to $2000 for winning videos. Deadlines vary from region to region, but links to details for most provinces are found on the CCOHS page.

And don’t miss your chance to vote on the top videos once they’re submitted to the contest!

Susan Haldane