The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is trying to break down young people’s wall of invincibility with its newest #PracticeSafeWork campaign that uses funny ads with animal animations to get them talking.
And it’s working. The ads ‘slay’ according to the young target audience (aged 15-24) who are commenting on social media and sharing the ads with their friends.
“Our goal is to remind young people that workplace injuries can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime,” says Jeffery Lang, WSIB President and CEO. “The videos are funny, but their message couldn’t be more serious: you’re only human and unsafe work practices can get you injured or killed.”
In Ontario over the past ten years (2012-2022), 98 young people (aged 15-24) died because of work, 12 just last year alone. And in 2022, almost 35,000 were injured at work.
The top industry for injuries in young people is the services sector (this includes restaurants and retail stores). The construction and manufacturing sectors also traditionally have a high number of injuries. Sprains and strains are the leading type of injury accounting for over 30% of claims. Other common injuries are cuts and lacerations, bruises and contusions, and concussions. Common causes of injuries are being struck by or against an object, overexertion and falls.
“Often with youth comes a sense of invincibility – a mindset that ‘it won’t happen to me’,” says Lang. “These ads disrupt that thinking with humour to raise awareness that workplace safety isn’t something to take for granted.”
The online campaign, aimed at young people aged 15-24, runs from June 19-Aug 13. Videos are running on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch, YouTube, Pluto TV, Mobile gaming and Corus instream video.
Along with the videos, the campaign website www.practicesafework.ca is a resource for young people and their parents to learn more about the types of questions they should ask employers, what to do in the case of an injury, and their rights and responsibilities related to workplace safety. The website also navigates to Safety Check, a WSIB tool that anyone can use to check out the safety record of an employer. It shows the number of injuries a business has in a year, the leading types of injuries for that workplace and much more.