Welcome to the Health and Safety Blog

I would like to welcome you to a new dimension for the Health and Safety office of the Greater Victoria Teachers' Association. Here you will find messages, advice, links and other gadgets related to health and safety, as well as our teaching profession.

Monday, April 25, 2016

May 1-7 Health and Safety Week

According to WorkSafeBC, here is a typical year in statistics for BC in Public School Districts. The data wascollect between 2007-2012.

Facts about Public School Districts

  • 60 school districts
  • 90, 500 workers
  • just under 1,600 time-loss claims
  • just under 45, 000 lost days of work
  • over $7.2 million claims costs
Who is getting injured in Public Schools?
  • 28% Maintenance/custodial workers
  • 22% Educational Assistants
  • 15% Elementary school teachers
  • 11% Secondary teachers
  • 24% others (includes principals, vice principals, bus drivers,...)
How are they getting injured?
  • 30% slips trips and falls
  • 28% overexertion injuries
  • 11% struck by an object (of which 22% of the time the person was struck by a student)
  • 8% acts of violence and force
  • 23% all other accident types
Demographics of Injured Workers
  • 59% female, 41% male
  • 10% under 35 years of age
  • 21% 35-44 years of age
  • 42% 45-54 years of age
  • 26% over 54 years of age
The Result of Violence in Schools
  • 67% of public school workers were educational assistants
  • 15% were elementary teachers
  • 9% were secondary teachers
  • Over 50% of the public school workers getting injured as a result of violence were 45 years of age or older and 89% were female

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 28 Day of Mourning

On 1991, the Federal Government legislated April 28th as a Day of Mourning to recognize those people who were killed or injured due to their work. This year the BC Labour Heritage Centre in conjunction with the British Columbia Teachers Federation, WorkSafeBC and BC Federation of Labour have created a educational package for schools to deliver the message about worker rights for new and young workers.

BC has the lowest age in which a child can enter the work force: 12 years old. The youngest in North America. These organizations want to make new and young workers aware that they run a greater risk of being injured on the job than workers in any other age group. The statistics are chilling.

  • ​​In BC, an average of 27 young workers have time loss injuries every day.
  • Every week, seven young workers are permanently disabled in BC
  • Close to one third of all occupational injuries happen to young workers
  • On average in BC, over 150 people are killed every year due to their work
  • On average, approximately 1,100 workers across Canada are killed every year due to their work

We always argue for our own safety at work. Just like learning conditions, better and safer working conditions for us means better conditions for our students. Health and safety is everybody's business and it is important that we inform our students as well.

You can check out the resources at this link:  http://www.labourheritagecentre.ca/domschoolsproject/ 
Hold a minute of silence on April 28th. Put up posters or have students make them. Download some of the activities from the website such as the script to be read over the announcements. Let's lower the risks for young workers, our students.

Be Safe.

Friday, April 8, 2016

New concussion resource for teachers helps children and youth with recovery

News Release from the BCTF Health and Safety Division

Vancouver – BC Children’s Hospital is launching a new evidence-based tool for educators to help prevent, recognize and respond to concussions in the classroom.

The Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) is an online, free resource that school professionals can use to help children as they return to school after time off from a concussion or if they sustain a concussion while at school.

Outdoor activities and sports like hockey, soccer and football are a fun way for children and teens to stay active. But if an impact happens that involves a direct blow to the head or other part of the body, it can result in a brain injury known as a concussion.

Developed by the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit at BC Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia (UBC), the CATT provides educators with recommendations about classroom adjustments to help students as they recover and to avoid potential life-long complications.

After a head injury, a lot of ordinary things at school can bring back concussion symptoms. Stimulation from other kids in the classroom, loud noises on the playground, and the stress of school work can trigger headaches, nausea, dizziness and confusion.

Teachers can go to www.cattonline.com to find out about modifications they can make for a concussed student such as reducing reading and homework, shortening the school day or adjusting deadlines for projects and tests. The tool features short, five-minute videos with sports stars like pro hockey player Sidney Crosby that provide kids with tips about staying safe during play.
The CATT also has specific information for medical professionals, parents, players and coaches. Smartphone-accessible forms and tools help parents and coaches track symptoms in order to respond to a head injury and record information that may be helpful to medical professionals.

The resources in the CATT are updated on a monthly basis. The tool was developed based on the latest research and best-practice recommendations by researchers provincially, nationally and internationally, with funding from the Ministry of Health, Child Health BC and the BC Children's Hospital Foundation.

School Professionals can read specific information and attain resources at this link: http://educators.cattonline.com/