HR Strange But True!
October 31, 2008

If you want workers to take workplace safety seriously, make them watch a set of grisly videos produced by the Alberta government in Canada. Warning: when we say grisly, we mean it.

The videos are part of a new public awareness campaign the government launched to remind young working Albertans that injuries and fatalities can be only moments away. 

“Anybody who loses focus for a moment is at risk of making a mistake on the job, and our young workers heading into the work force are the most vulnerable,” said Hector Goudreau, Minister of Employment and Immigration.

In one video, a young male worker at the deli counter is flirting with a woman when he goes to slice some cheese for her. Instead of paying attention to his job, he is making eyes at the young woman. Then, the video shows blood spatter. The camera changes angles and you see the young man's bloody index finger sitting next to the hot dogs in the glass display case instead of attached to his hand.

The tagline: “Some days are bloodier than others. And they are always preventable.”

In another video, a gas station attendant enters the bathroom and detects a funny odor. She looks around and spots a bottle on the shelf. When she reaches for it, the lid is loose and the liquid in the bottle pours all over her head. The results of the incident do significant damage to her face, all of which is caught in the video.

While the scenes are played out by actors, they do ring true. At the end of each video, there are links to real stories and statistics on workplace injuries.

The campaign includes transit ads, video productions for movie theatres, posters, Internet banner ads--all of which encourage young workers to visit .

“We find that every workplace incident uncovers several unfortunate choices that were made that led to the tragedy; there are no accidents,” says Dr. Michael Alpern of the Job Safety Skills Society, a member of the Young Worker Provincial Advisory Committee. “Research shows that young workers have a higher injury rate than their workplace peers. We see it first hand and we endorse any program that might save a life or limb.”

The campaign is part of Work Safe Alberta, a unique partnership between industry, labor, and government.


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