Sunday, May 09, 2010

the safety play

This week at work we celebrated National Occupational Health and Safety Week. Usually we have a Safety Fair. All of the workers attend, and there are booths with information about workplace safety. It's organized by my friend Kathy, who is a program coordinator like me, working at one of the other seniors' centres in the city. She has done a great job, coordinating the event, arranging exhibitors and lunch, and making sure everyone could get there. The fairs have been informative and fun, with lots of giveaways, a yummy hot dog barbeque, and the opportunity to see other workers who are usually at different sites.

Kathy decided a while back that we had seen enough Safety Fairs. She thought it was time for something new. She called me and asked if I wanted to help produce a safety play. I have known Kathy for a lot of years. We met in school when we were just 9 years old. I have seen her work, and I know if she thinks something is a good idea, it's a good idea. So I didn't think about it very long, before I said, "yes."

Kathy called together a committee, and we brainstormed an outline for the play. The story is about a recreation centre custodian who has a workplace accident. The play chronicles the events leading up to the accident, illustrating contributing factors. We wanted it to be realistic, funny and informative. I got to work writing the script, which turned out to be about 15 minutes long. Kathy arranged the lunch, and found city workers to be the actors in the play. We got help from other staff, including theatre technicians at the Burnaby Arts Centre, and our wonderful Burnaby Food Services, who put together a pasta and salad lunch - a suitable meal after a theatre experience.

I can honestly say I did not worry about whether the play would be a success or well-received. We had great performers, including the assistant department manager in charge of cultural services, who allowed himself to be lampooned in a cameo appearance (do you ever hear the "Jaws" theme music just before your boss appears?) The audience was friendly and receptive, and they did laugh at the right places. We had a short time to prepare in the theatre, but the show came together beautifully. We had two performances back-to-back, with over 200 people attending. I'm glad we did it. Now people are asking, "What's the play going to be about next year?"

question: how safe are you at work?

mompoet - some days I can't believe what a great job I have

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