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Vancouver, B.C., August 29, 2010 — This weekend, injured worker and Paralympic medallist Josh Dueck broke the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD™ for the “most High Fives by any individual in 24 hours.” Josh High Fived 9,307 people, far surpassing — or as he likes to say, “crushing” — the previous record of 3,131 set in 2008.
At the B.C. Lions game Friday night, Dueck High Fived the Felions cheerleaders, Leo the Lion, and uber fan, Crazy Pete. He also connected palms with seven VPD officers and three fellow Team Canada athletes, as well as a huge number of Lions fans, all of which totaled 3,803 High Fives. But he didn’t stop there.
Saturday at the PNE, Dueck High Fived the pre-opening crowd — made up of staff and vendors, many of which are young workers — and then continued throughout the day smacking hands with thousands of fairgoers. Josh finished the 24-hour marathon by High Fiving another injured worker and safety advocate — 23-year-old Jen Beauregard of Abbotsford.
Dueck’s record "crushing" was part of WorkSafeBC’s Raise Your Hand campaign — an annual initiative to increase young workers’ understanding of their safety rights and how to stay safe at work. Young workers in B.C. are more likely to sustain an injury than workers aged 25 years and older.
“I’m competitive and love a good challenge, but this was more important than breaking a record,” says Dueck, who raised his hand to High Five people attending the BC Lions game on August 27 and at the PNE August 28. “I did it to bring attention to young worker safety, and that’s something I’m stoked about.”
Since becoming paralyzed from the waist down in a workplace accident at the age of 23, Dueck has become a world-champion para-alpine skier. He has won national and international competitions, and recently won a silver medal at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
“Josh can now add this to his long list of life accomplishments,” said Scott McCloy, WorkSafeBC Director of Communications. “We thank everyone who came out and raised a hand with Josh to help us raise awareness about safety for young workers.”
Since 2007, the Raise Your Hand campaign has been raising awareness about workplace safety to the province’s 330,000 young workers. In addition to RaiseYourHand.com and other social media tools, street teams travel to youth-oriented events, high schools, and universities around the province to spread the safety message.
WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a board of directors that serves about 2.3 million workers and more than 200,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.
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