PORTLAND —Chad McAdams sees himself as a budding filmmaker, ready to make his mark.
If the Parkrose High School student’s work in an annual young worker safety video contest is any indication, he’s got the talent to match his ambition.
McAdams, a senior at the Portland high school, was a member of the Parkrose team that recently won the $500 first-place prize in the “Speak up. Work safe” contest sponsored by the Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]). He also directed a 2018 video that garnered Parkrose a tie for the third-place award.
The most recent victory, McAdams said, “was just really a big and awesome accomplishment for all of us to do.” Parkrose won a matching amount of prize money. Second- and third-place prizes were also awarded to teams at Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis and Summit High School in Bend, respectively.
The contest, which focuses on teen workers – who are twice as likely to be injured on the job – is designed to boost awareness about safety for young workers. It calls on students to create a 90-second or less video with a teen job safety and health message. The videos were judged on creativity, production value, youth appeal, and the overall safety and health message.
McAdams and his teammates were up to the challenge.
They crafted “The Safety Bros,” a hip-hop-infused video bouncing with music, energy, and humor. It features a duo of workplace safety and health bros – one of which is played by McAdams – who rap about on-the-job hazards, including old equipment, faulty wires, messy floors, and a lack of training. The entire affair blossoms into dancing, clapping, and singing as the safety bros, clad in leather jackets and shades, rally a group of workers to the cause of speaking up and working safe.
McAdams said he and his teammates learned a lot about on-the-job safety and health as they produced their video. “There’s no reason you shouldn’t say something if you don’t think what you’re doing is safe,” he said. “If you don’t say something, you can really get hurt.”
As for his future, McAdams said, a career as a filmmaker sounds good. “I’m thinking more of like a director who makes original films based off their own writing,” he said. “I have big plans for film.”
The creators of the top videos were presented their awards on April 20 during a special screening at Northern Lights Theatre and Pub in Salem.
All of the winning videos, as well as the other finalists, are available for viewing on YouTube:
The Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]) organizes the contest.
The sponsors are Oregon OSHA, SAIF Corporation, local Oregon chapters of the American Society of Safety Professionals, the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU, Hoffman Construction, Central Oregon Safety & Health Association, the Oregon SHARP Alliance, the Construction Safety Summit, Northern Lights Theatre and Pub, SafeBuild Alliance, and the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Industrial Hygiene Association.