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Richmond students win WorkSafe BC youth video contest

Youth videos spread messages of COVID-19 workplace safety
2021 WorkSafe BC video contest
The Power of Precautionary Measures (top) and Pandemic Teamwork (bottom) are two videos created by Richmond students won the 2021 WorkSafe BC youth safety video contest.

COVID-19-related workplace safety videos netted first-place wins for two Richmond secondary students.

A.R. MacNeill secondary student Botao Chen and his team, as well as Hugh Boyd secondary student Robbie Baker will both take home $1,000 after winning this year’s WorkSafe BC’s Study Safety Video contest in their respective categories.

WorkSafe BC held its 16th annual video contest and challenged youth with the theme of “I am doing my part” about stopping the spread of COVID-19 to young workers.

This year’s contest received 58 submissions and there were winners in two separate categories – Grade 8 to 10 and Grade 11 to 12.

Chen, who was notified of his group’s win while sitting in French class, had to make a quick trip to the bathroom to make sure he was reading the email right before messaging his Richmond Youth Media program team that they won one of the awards presented to the Grade 8 to 10 category.

He said they used a catchy tune in their music video to remind other young people to do their part during the pandemic.

“We wanted to make sure the video was memorable and we want to get the word out about COVID-19 safety, like reminding people to do their daily checks, wear their masks and stay socially distanced from other people,” said Chen.

Meanwhile, Baker said he was at home checking his emails and doing his homework when he received the notification that he won in the Grade 11 to 12 category of the contest.

“You submit your work into a contest and you don’t really expect to win, so when I received the email that I won I was just over the moon,” said Baker, adding it was an incredible feeling to know 15 hours of work put into his stop-motion video was worth it.

“I enjoy creating media and the art of storytelling through media and having been given the opportunity to make a video on such a relevant topic such as COVID-19 safety right now makes it more memorable.”

While Baker’s video won first in his contest category in B.C., he also placed third in the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety national competition.

Winning videos receive a prize of $2,500 where $1,000 goes to the students and $1,500 goes to the school to help promote the videos and contest.

According to Robin Schooley, the Occupation Health and Safety consultant at WorkSafe BC, the contest this year meant more than ever to young workers and youth.

“We wanted this year’s contest to be something that would resonate with (youth) and give them an opportunity to get their perspective in on something we’re all living through,” said Schooley, adding young people are the ones who are “making a difference in the workplaces.”

“We saw an opportunity for youth to have a healthy attitude towards how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and I’m thrilled that we received the responses we did.”

WorkSafe BC videos, said Schooley, are often promoted on social media and sometimes used by employers during training orientation or by teachers to promote health and safety.

“These videos contain so many great messages and having students share the message to their peers is the best way to address aspects that are important to workplace health and safety.”