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EHS OutLoud Blog

What Will You Teach Your Kids about On-the-Job Safety?

workingmom.gifWith April 26 marking the 20th anniversary of "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day," it got me thinking: What will you share with your children about workplace safety?

From teaching their kids to look both ways before crossing the street to wearing a bicycle helmet to exercising caution with strangers, parents address safety issue in all areas of their children's lives. But when your son or daughter grows up and joins the work force, you obviously want him or her to work safely, too.

You'd want your children to wear the correct PPE while on the job; follow safety procedures; be protected from chemicals and environmental hazards; work in an environment engineered to prevent strains, back pain or carpal tunnel; and know they have the right to speak up if they suspect they are exposed to hazards. Most of all, you'd want your children to work for employers who value them, who care about their safety and who invest in the appropriate programs, equipment and training to keep them safe.

Every year, the American Society of Safety Engineers holds a Safety-on-the Job poster contest for kids aged 5-14. The contest aims to educate children about the importance of being safe at work and what occupational safety, health and environmental professionals do to prevent injuries and illnesses at work. "Hard hats … not just for decoration," "Safety is not a game" and "Don't monkey around on the job" are just a few of the safety messages shared by the 2012 winners. View the winning posters here.

It's never too early to let kids know that working safely is an important part of life. If you take your children to work, whether for "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" or for another reason, don't leave safety out of the discussion. Teach them not only about your job but what it means to be safe, to follow safety procedures and to respect the potential hazards you may face while at work.

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