SafeThink for Educators

new.gif SafeThink—a new safety manual authorized by Alberta Education.

This comprehensive manual is a valuable resource for teachers to help students prevent illness and injury at school, at home, and while driving.

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244 Pages

Teach students life-long safety skills

There is a better way! SafeThink focuses on a cognitive-based safety strategy that will:

  • help you refine your own safety skills
  • give you a resource to help you help students develop life-long safety skills to keep themselves and others safe
  • help you help students develop their higher-order thinking skills to identify, predict, and control hazardous situations

SafeThink is a structured critical thinking strategy that can be used on the fly to prevent illness and injury. The emphasis is on educating students to think ahead before acting.

Here’s what Dr. E. Scott Geller, a safety specialist, has to say about SafeThink and the related series of books that will be published this fall:

“The power of thinking in determining our safety, health, and welfare is obvious, but how to manage such cognition or self-talk for injury prevention, self-motivation, and self-improvement is not so obvious. Answers are provided in this action-focused series of self-help books on The Exemplary Worker by Gordon D. Shand. He offers much practical information for leadership, safety, and well-being. Each of these books provides critical and structured thinking strategies for optimizing performance on several fronts, from improving safety and productivity in the workplace to actively caring as a teacher, parent, or friend.”

E. Scott Geller, Ph.D., author of The Psychology of Safety Handbook; Alumni Distinguished Professor, Virginia Tech; Senior Partner, Safety Performance Solutions.

Here's what Dr. Edward de Bono, educator on thinking methods has to say about SafeThink and The Exemplary Worker series:

"These are very practical books. I, myself, have been interested in the fundamental processes of human thinking. For creativity there is Lateral Thinking. For exploration there is the parallel thinking of the Six Hats. For perception there is the CoRT school programme. The Exemplary Worker series of books provide frameworks for focused thinking about specific situations. The frameworks guide the thinker to deal with the situation instead of messing about. That is why the books are so practical."

Edward de Bono, author of Lateral Thinking and Six Thinking Hats and creator of CoRT

In support of today’s emphasis on preventing illness and injury, SafeThink gives people of all ages more control over their own wellbeing.

To place your order, phone HDC at (780) 463-3909

Price: $135.00 Cdn. plus shipping, handling, and GST




Preventing Illness and Injury:

We can do Better!

Alberta teachers, school trustees, and school administrators would likely all agree that teaching our students lifelong skills to be safe is very important—safe at home, on the farm, in the workplace, on the road, and doing their favorite leisure time activities. Unfortunately, Canada’s predictable and preventable injuries and fatalities are very high compared with other industrialized countries.

Injuries and Fatalities in Alberta and Canada—a few facts
According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards, in 2010, 1,014 workplace deaths were recorded in  Canada—an increase from 939 in 2009. This rising trend of workplace deaths is very disturbing. Canada is one of the most dangerous countries in which to work—Canada ranks low at 25 out of the 29 OECD (Organization for Economic and Co-operative Development) countries.

Click here for more information on injuries and fatalities in Canada and Alberta.

A Generation at Risk—Improving Strategies to Prevent Illness and Injury
Mostly, to teach students to be safe, we give them knowledge and establish rules of behavior. Of course, knowledge is essential but it’s not enough to prevent illness and injury. Students also need a thinking strategy to rigorously apply the safety knowledge throughout the day, every day.  Students need to learn structured thinking skills to identify, predict, and control hazardous situations before an injury occurs. Too often, students learn by trial and error, sometimes with unfortunate consequences.

In courses such as math, science, social studies, and language, students learn thinking skills which then become common to the group of students. In Alberta, however, students do not learn safety thinking skills and therefore, these safety thinking skills are not held in common with other students. That’s where SafeThink is so valuable. SafeThink is a structured critical thinking strategy that provides students with lifelong health and safety skills, skills that they need to deal with today’s fast-paced, complex, and technologically dangerous world.

SafeThink—A Lifelong Health and Safety Strategy
SafeThink provides a lifelong safety strategy that students can learn so that they can be safe at home, at work, on the road, and in their continuing leisure activities. SafeThink is a cognitive approach to safety and has several effective features, including:

  • students learn a framework to make it easier to deal with the complexities of health and safety
  • hazards common to a broad range of industries and personal environments are identified as a set of generalities (concepts), reducing the number of unique hazards. With generalities, thinking becomes more efficient and people are more flexible in identifying hazards in unfamiliar workplaces and environments.
  • students ask themselves a series of questions to identify and predict hazardous situations. When students ask themselves a question, the question tends to beg an answer, contributing to a thorough analysis of the task/activity and environment. Self-questioning also helps students remain mentally engaged in identifying and predicting hazardous situations.
  • students also learn practical ways to prevent illness and injury

Students internalize and personalize the safety strategy by applying it to their everyday experience. When they own the strategy, they are motivated to use it and encourage others to apply the strategy as well. Over time, students can organize new health and safety knowledge into their internalized safety strategy. The beauty of the SafeThink strategy is that it resides in students’ heads; they can’t leave home without it.

Click here for a more comprehensive explanation of the SafeThink philosophy and concepts.

SafeThink History—Research and Development
SafeThink was originally created to train curriculum development consultants to identify safety issues in different industries and work environments. To be flexible, the strategy was based on asking questions about hazards and the conditions, actions, and events that could lead to or create hazardous situations. The training was refined over several years.

Because SafeThink proved to be so useful, we decided to make the training more widely available. The thinking strategy and training program were field tested in various industries over a period of four years. We spent 6500 hours of research and development to bring the program to industry. Industry contributed more than 1600 hours.

An Early Adopter of the SafeThink Strategy
During the past four years, SafeThink has systematically been developed into a unique safety training system for the Provincial Department of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD). SafeThink Agriculture – Alberta was launched in the spring of 2012. The long-term goal is to create a safety culture for farmers and ranchers, a very hazardous occupation. For example, in 2010, 22 persons died on Alberta farms and ranches and about 1000 were seriously injured (AARD Statistics).

The Next Step—Educating Students
Teaching students to use a structured critical thinking strategy to identify, predict, and control hazardous situations will ultimately lead to a culture of safety—a culture where everyone, young and old, takes measures each and every day to prevent illness and injury.

The SafeThink manual is an excellent reference resource for teachers. Additionally, because teachers need more help in developing and delivering the curriculum, we are approaching school boards and educators to conduct pilots to develop the SafeThink program for students. Visionaries and leaders who are committed to ensuring that our students—and all Albertans—work and live in a safer environment need to come forward to make it happen. Funding must also be adequate for teachers and specialists to develop and test the program.

The vision is zero illness and injury—the strategy is



To place your order, phone HDC at (780) 463-3909

Price: $135.00 Cdn. plus shipping, handling, and GST