Live Safe! Work Smart!

Message from Sharon and Steve Peat

Sean KellsDear Teacher:

Let me introduce you to our daughter Amanda.  Amanda was an aspiring actress who was full of life. Family and friends were always smiling when in her glowing presence. The opposition of baseball and life challenges was faced with no fear.

The picture on this page is her Grade 8 graduation picture. Amanda was in her first few months of high school when, during a visit to a workplace for Take Our Kids to Work Day on November 1, 2000, a ride in an industrial vehicle took her life. Amanda wasn’t trained to operate the equipment. She left behind a younger sister, a brother, two step-brothers, a step-sister and parents who greatly miss her.
The vehicle Amanda was riding may not look like a dangerous vehicle to most, but there are strict requirements for workers who operate this type of equipment in a factory, including training on how to operate it safely, supervision, being authorized to use it and following the traffic rules of the workplace so it can be driven safely either inside the building or out in the company’s yard.

Ensuring that students who visit a workplace, especially those in elementary school who are legally too young to be in most workplaces, are there only to observe and not to touch or operate equipment is critical. The curiosity of youth and/or enthusiasm of some adults to let young people “experience” the workplace can result in tragedy. As a teacher, you have a tremendous opportunity to let your students see the world of work and help them shape their future. Please ensure they also learn that the workplace can be a dangerous place and there are strict safety rules in place to protect workers from being injured. Often adults become complacent with their jobs and do not realize the importance of reviewing all the details to a young person or new worker. There will come a day when they are legally old enough to be trained to operate equipment, but for now, their job is to look, listen and talk about the world of work.


Sharon and Steve Peat

About Sharon Peat

Sharon Peat is one of the founders of Threads of Life, the Workplace Tragedy Family Support Association. Her daughter Amanda is one of the young people commemorated on the Canadian LifeQuilt, a memorial dedicated to the thousands of young women and men between the ages of 14-24, who have been killed or injured on the job.

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