Nov. 7, 2012 is the 18th annual Take Your Kids to Work Day in Canada. The day can be a great educational experience for children and a chance for employers to expose kids to their industry and type of work. So the last thing you want to ruin the day is for a child to get injured or worse while in your facility.
In fact, tragedies have occurred on Take Your Kids to Work Day. For example, in 2000 in Ontario, two teens visiting a John Deere plant on Take Your Kids to Work Day were driving a two-seat utility vehicle when it hit and passed underneath a parked trailer at the plant. Both died.
So it’s important that you treat children visiting the workplace with the same care you’d use for any visitor to the premises. That is, take reasonable care to ensure that your premises are safe for children.
Here are some tips for ensuring that kids are safe this Wednesday:
- Do a safety inspection of your workplace beforehand, with an eye toward hazards for youth.
- If giving children a tour of the workplace, do a dry run to identify any potential safety issues.
- Provide an orientation emphasizing health, safety and security issues, such as where kids can and can’t go, what to do if an alarm goes off, warnings about touching equipment or materials, etc.
- Ensure students are supervised at all times, preferably on a one-to-one basis.
- Provide the kids with ID badges and any required PPE, such as hardhats and hearing protection.
- Have someone designated to troubleshoot any safety issues that arise.
If you let workers bring their own children to work for the day, require the workers and their kids to sign a consent form.