New Course Development

For five years, Safety in Schools has focused on providing young workers with the knowledge that they need to stay safe at work by offering free, industry-recognized safety training through Alberta schools. We recognize that there is more to keeping our young people safe than teaching the facts. We need to change attitudes and reach young people in a more personal, meaningful way.

That’s where our new custom Safety in Schools courses come in. Each of the new courses that we are developing are based on real-life experiences and the consequences suffered by real people.

Life Lessons – Learning the Hard Way


This course focuses on the lived experiences of two young people who were severely injured at work and a man whose family has been forever changed by the loss of his son to a workplace fatality. Life Lessons aims to connect with young workers on a more personal level than other workplace safety training courses.

Most of our courses focus on how to stay safe at work, giving students the knowledge and tools that they need to work safely. Life Lessons focuses on why safety is so important. Through this new course, we aim to really bring home for students the real-life outcomes that they could be faced with if they don’t make safety their top priority at work and apply the things they’ve learned in this and our other courses.

The bulk of the course is comprised of filmed interviews and we encourage teachers to engage their students in classroom discussion after completing the course. Like our other courses, Life Lessons ends with a test and students are required to get over 80% to be considered having mastered the course.

Life Lessons is about far more than a passing grade and the content presented to students is geared toward making students think and feel. The video content is ideal for initiating classroom discussion and can be useful in encouraging students to share their own experiences with one another in the classroom.

We officially launched the course at an event in at Western Canada High School in Calgary on February 22, 2016. Since it’s launch, more than 60 students have mastered this course, and several teachers have indicated that they will be rolling Life Lessons into their CALM curriculum for September 2016.

That’s Got to Hurt! Lessons from the Workplace

That’s Got to Hurt! – Lessons from the Workplace is a unique type of initiative for Safety in Schools because it is not just developing a new course – it involves significant, meaningful engagement with students. Unlike our other course developments, That’s Got to Hurt! will focus on the real-life experiences of Safety in Schools students themselves.

Content has been collected through a series of contests which students were invited to take part in throughout 2015-2016. The video and essay contests were open from early September 2015 and officially closed on May 31, 2016. We are now in the process of judging the submissions and choosing the winners.

By involving students in the development of this course and learning from them the actual situations they are faced with in their workplaces, we not only provided the opportunity for a student-driven conversation about safety, but we are able to provide a course that they can relate to.  By focusing on the workplaces that students taking the course are actually working in right now, we are able to relate a message to them that feels personal. This course is about the very people who are taking it.

Through our video and essay contests, we have received submissions that span a wide range of workplaces and types of incidents. We are looking forward to being able to roll these scenarios together into a course that students across various workplaces can relate to.

Heavy Machinery – It Always Wins

Heavy Machinery – It Always Wins will focus on serious workplace incidents involving heavy machinery. Basing lessons off of real-life incidents and potential hazards identified by experts, the course will focus on how to identify hazards in three types of job sectors that involve heavy machinery: manufacturing, transportation and operations. Our team is working hard to make this course available to students in the fall of 2016.

digger-1218368While it is difficult to identify all of the specific hazards  that students taking the course may come across in their working lives, teaching students how to look for hazards and identify the best way to mitigate them can be done using example situations, which is what this course will do. Presenting a variety of situational examples, Heavy Machinery will give students the opportunity to critically analyze situations and complete a hazard assessment.

Heavy machinery is a factor in a disproportionate number of severe injuries and fatalities. Of 51 convictions in Alberta between 2010 and 2014, 30 incidents involved heavy machinery resulting in 16 fatalities. We can prevent more of these injuries and fatalities from occurring though early education. By engaging youth with real-life examples of the risks heavy machinery poses, we can send them into the working world aware of the risks, engaged with their surroundings and knowledgeable about the role they play in their own safety and that of those around them.