The Learning Partnership, a national charitable organization which promotes a strong public education system in Canada, has spearheaded the Take Our Kids to Work (“TOKTW”) program since 1994. The program is now Canada-wide with more than 200,000 Grade 9 (or equivalent) students, and over 75,000 employers taking part in 2011. The 2012 TOKTW Day is scheduled for November 7, 2012.
The TOKTW program is designed to give students a chance to experience real-life workplaces, explore career options, develop an appreciation for their parents’ work, and underline the importance of staying in school.
Many employees with children believe it important to participate in this event, as do many employers, whether by planning special programming for student participants, or simply allowing students into the workplace to observe and experience the work that occurs there. Regardless of how an employer chooses to participate in TOKTW, there are some key health and safety considerations and safeguards which should be noted regarding such a program. This is especially pertinent in light of the tragic death of two TOKTW participants in 2000.
Some useful guidelines to consider for TOKTW:
- Students must be adequately and properly supervised at all times
- Students should be properly oriented to the workplace
- Students must be equipped with and properly wear any personal protective equipment which may be necessary (ear plugs, eye protection, safety footwear) before access to any workplace areas which require protective equipment
- Students should be prohibited from handling or accessing hazardous materials, power tools, and motorized vehicles
- Employers should consult with their joint health and safety committees or health and safety representatives regarding any other areas of concern prior to allowing students access to the workplace
- As TOKTW participants are not covered by Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, employers should be sure to check with their liability insurers to confirm adequate liability coverage for student visitors
- Some workplaces are too hazardous by nature to accommodate a worksite program
Have a safe and productive Take Our Kids to Work Day!
Editor of Human Resources PolicyPro
published by First Reference Inc.