Heavy Metal Rocks does just that, said students who participated in this year’s event. It rocks.
For three days, 25 students from 100 Mile House and Williams Lake operated various industrial machines, learned first aid certification and construction safety, and met people who work in industry.
“It was informational and I learned a lot,” Lake City Secondary Grade 12 student Sierra Siwek said. “The excavator was the best piece of equipment.”
Before arriving at the course, Sewick did not know how to operate a single machine, but in the end was awarded most improved operator.
“I’m going to engineering school and now have a better understanding of the equipment and the safety process,” Siwek said.
Grade 11 student Keith Smith said the course was awesome.
Trying every machine was a good experience, but his favourite was the CAT Excavator, the 16-year-old said.
“It really opens up more opportunities for trade careers,” he added.
Students from Peter Skene Ogden secondary in 100 Mile House also participated and Grade 11 student Austin Glen said he would do the program again in a heartbeat.
“I thought it was awesome,” Glen said. “The big excavator was very cool and fun to operate.”
Glen also appreciated the first aid training.
The course gave him more confidence as an operator and the message hit home that safety has to be his top priority.
This year Tolko Industries participated for the first time, bringing some heavy logging machinery to the site for students to learn on.
Each student spent 90 minutes at a station and 45 minutes operating a machine.
Co-ordinated by WorkSafeBC, Heavy Metal Rocks is open to Grade 11 and 12 students.
There is no cost to students. The program is made possible by local companies who donate their time and equipment.
Before climbing into the operator’s chair, students receive Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training and their Level 1 Occupation First Aid certificate. In addition, WorkSafeBC prevention officers guide students on a complete site-safety orientation and give them their own personal safety equipment.
Heavy Metal Rocks is one of many WorkSafeBC initiatives that exemplify a new approach to prevention that began in 1994.
These initiatives have contributed to the province’s low injury rate, which dropped below 3.0 for the first time in 2008.