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

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Police’s role in Barnston Island still needs ‘to be looked at’

Surrey RCMP polices unincorporated island a short ferry ride across Parson’s Channel

Surrey looking into reducing residential speed limits

Surrey city council on Feb. 24 approved five ‘key pillars’ of a Surrey Transportation Plan

‘We have to triage’: Surrey teachers stage ‘walk-in’ to support public education

Teachers raising awareness after more than one year at the bargaining table

Suspected drugs, counterfeit cash seized during distracted driving stop: Surrey RCMP

Police said incident happened near 152nd Street and Fraser Highway

Fate of five-district policing model in Surrey rests with new police board

Whalley/City Centre, Guildford/Fleetwood, Newton, Cloverdale, and South Surrey districts formed under McCallum’s watch in 1998

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read