Fly like a 200-lb. bird… anything's possible with the right O.T.

My son and I traveled to Denver, Colorado to help an old friend of mine fix up a bungalow; after two days of tedious slugging, my 16-year-old persuaded me to take a break and try indoor skydiving.

At my age, seeking a thrill like jumping into a vertical wind tunnel with howling 100 mph winds just doesn't seem that appealing. But, to keep the peace and not disappoint my son, I agreed to drive over and have a look at the site.

We were no more in the entrance of the building when two instructors met us and said they had two openings in the next 15 minutes. Of course we agreed to take them and were quickly fitted with two flight uniforms.

For the next half hour, we were given an orientation and training program - I like to call it O.T. - complete with lessons on how to fly like a 200-pound bird.

We then were marched into the holding room of the wind tunnel and told to wait. A howling sound like a tornado in the mid West grabbed our attention. We held our breath and reluctantly jumped into the wind chamber.

What a rush! We laughed so hard at each other, with our cheeks being pinned back to our ears by the air pressure. It was a day we'll always remember. I only wish we could have shared this day with my son, David, whom we lost in a workplace accident.

Life's journey has some strange turns - some you can never prepare yourself for…

In February 1999 my path in life seemed so straight. My family was doing well, everybody was healthy. I owned shares in a manufacturing business which had shown profit for a decade.

There was no time for me to prepare when I got that call from my wife telling me that our son David had been in a very bad accident at a local bakery on his second day on the job.

The next six days left me and my family numb as we were surrounded by hundreds of people from the community and across the country - all of them praying for David. At the end of six days, the head surgeon told our family that our son would have to be removed from life support and we lost David.

As a parent, I was shocked to find out that more than 100,000 young workers in Canada and 900,000 young workers in the US between the age of 15 and 24 are reported as injured.

As a business owner, I was surprised to learn that more than two-thirds of young people had not received any safety training or orientation on their job. Six times more injuries happen to young workers in the first 30 days on the job.

These are the future leaders of our society that we're ignoring and not protecting in the workplace!!

On April 20 my foundation, Our Youth at Work will be hooking up more than 40 company presidents with 20,000 students and media in six cities on a single day, and each of these events will be simulcast to all the other locations.

It's our way of taking the Safety (R)evolution out to the people; join us…

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