'Flashbacks' awarded best student-created short film on workplace safety

by: COURTESY OF OREGON OSHA - Students from St. Helens High School hold up a giant $500 check - their prize money for placing first in a worker safety video contest - outside the Northern Lights Theatre in Salem on Saturday, April 26.Students at St. Helens High School took home top honors for their entry in a worker safety video contest Saturday, April 26.

The short video “Flashbacks,” created by students in Joe Mauck’s building construction class, won first place in the “Speak up. Work safe.” contest put on by the nonprofit Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition, or O[yes], which works closely with state agencies, including the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division, or Oregon OSHA.

“We’ve been working at it for three or four years now, so I’m glad they finally got there,” Mauck said Monday of his students placing first in the contest.

“Flashbacks” was created by students David Bair, Michael Norris, Hunter Ogle, Colton Sundell and Shawn Vielmetti, with Mauck also appearing as a stunt actor.

The 87-second video, which is viewable on YouTube, shows a character recalling safety mishaps — the eponymous flashbacks — as he explains to another character that it is important to observe safe practices while on the job.

Of the video, Bair was quoted by Oregon OSHA as saying, “We want other kids to work safe in a dangerous environment, even if it means speaking up.”

“Flashbacks” was one of seven finalists in the video contest.

While safety videos created by Mauck’s class have been shortlisted before in previous contests, this is the first year St. Helens High students have won an O[yes] contest.

The award also comes with $1,000 — half of which is for the team, and a matching half of which is for the school.

Mauck said historically, students have elected to invest their share of the prize money back into the building construction program. This year, Norris in particular has his eye on purchasing “fancy woods” for the program, he added.

“I’m pretty sure that they’re going to donate it to the program,” said Mauck Wednesday. “They’d like to see some exotic woods brought in.”

Southridge High School in Beaverton won second place with its submission, while South Salem High School placed third.

The award ceremony was held in Salem, at the Northern Lights Theatre.

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