Injured worker talks job safety to Surrey students

Mark Johnson hopes teens won’t take the same risks he did.

Mark Johnson shares his experience as an injured worker with high school students as part of WorkSafeBC’s Speakers Program.

As Mark Johnson stands in front of a classroom of teenage students, he’s reminded of the carelessness of his youth and hopes that by listening to his story, they won’t make the same mistakes.

When Johnson was 21 years old, he was cleaning scraps of wood from underneath a conveyor belt at his job when his left arm got stuck in a moving roller. When he was finally rescued, his left arm had been pulled from its socket – kept together only by skin.

Today, as part of WorkSafeBC’s Speakers Program, Johnson, now 28, shares his experience with high school students and stresses the importance of worker safety. He spoke to students at Burnsview Secondary School on Dec. 4.

“I was the type of the person that said that kind of stuff (injuries) doesn’t happen to people like me, and I was very wrong,” said Johnson.

He feels he would have benefitted from a talk like his when he had been in school. By putting a human face on the risks, Johnson believes it sends a stronger message.

“There’s a little bit of shock and awe from students, but until they actually see somebody and how it’s affected them, they don’t really take safety seriously,” said Johnson. “I’m a real person and I go in there and show them my arm.”

While doctors were able to save his arm, he has limited shoulder and wrist movement.

WorkSafeBC statistics show that although the overall injury rate for young workers has improved in recent years, 6,650 young workers were injured on the job in 2014.

Personal safety and responsibility are two aspects that Johnson feels don’t get enough attention from young workers, particularly because they don’t ask or think about it.

“Kids don’t think of questions. If they’re told to do something, they don’t even think of safety, they just do it because they were told too,” said Johnson.

Johnson feels that by turning a negative into a positive, he will help more people.

“I tell everyone that my injury is my fault and the repercussions of my injury are my fault,” said Johnson. “Now I have a positive attitude and want to share my experience.”

For more information about youth job safety, visit http://bit.ly/1NXS9Pa

 

Just Posted

Surrey policing plan sent to provincial government for review

‘I urge our residents to come out and help us shape their Surrey Police Department,’ Surrey mayor says

Surrey councillors say they’ve now seen policing transition plan

Locke and Hundial decline to share details of the plan, repeat calls for its release to residents

RCMP target speeders in White Rock, Surrey

Officers throughout the province launch Swoop campaign

Cloverdale high school raising money for first-ever grad dinner

Bottle and clothing drive will fundraise for Cloverdale Learning Centre’s first graduation dinner

Roadside device to weed out THC can’t detect impairment, lawyer says

‘This fact alone is likely to have serious implications for Canadians’ Charter Rights,’ lawyer Sarah Leamon warns

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Coquitlam RCMP release video in search for witness to crash that killed girl, 13

Witness is described as a slim Asian man with short, black hair, no facial hair and wearing glasses

Four rescued from Golden Ears mountain

Hikers from Surrey started out for Evans Peak at 6 p.m.

Most Read