Ava Eramus is one of the unofficial safety inspectors at the Skills Canada nationals in Halifax.

Fort Simpson’s Ava Erasmus is a safety-conscious pool attendant who’s competing at Skills Canada nationals in Halifax Tuesday and Wednesday.
NNSL photo

The Grade 9 student at Thomas Simpson School in Fort Simpson went from one station to the next Tuesday, checking to see if there were any safety hazards. Could something be easily knocked over? Was everyone wearing the recommended personal protection equipment?

It wasn’t her job to police her fellow competitors, just to make notes and then report back to the workplace safety group, where she is vying for gold.

She also scrutinized a set of shelves at her group’s location, finding some toxic chemicals were exposed and a first aid kit contained used products that should have been discarded.

“I’ve always kind of been a safe kid, I guess you could say,” said Erasmus, who’s a swimming pool assistant and training to become a lifeguard. “I was always really concerned with people getting hurt, or me myself getting hurt.”

Her work as a pool supervisor led her to complete workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) training.

On Wednesday, Erasmus and the other workplace safety participants will have two-and-a-half hours to research a safety topic and then make a presentation to the judges.

“It’s not my favourite thing but I can do it,” she said of . “You’re presenting that information to professionals in that field. You already know they know everything.”

Don’t expect Erasmus to commit to a career in workplace safety at this early stage in life.

“I have no idea. Every time I try something new it changes,” she said. “I can’t find something I want to stick to quite yet,” she said.

Although safety is frequently on her mind, she and her NWT Skills Canada teammates were able to let loose on Monday evening with a few hours of go-kart driving and laser tag as part of their team bonding activities.

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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