What we never see on the news is how many new and young workers are injured or killed every year in Canada.
905 Canadians were killed on the job in 2016 according to statistics from the Association of Worker’s Compensation Boards of Canada, 6 of these people were aged 15-19 and 20 were 20-24, but rarely does this make the news reel. After years of being a Certified Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) I can tell you that these events are avoidable and it’s a tragedy at any age.
This is the time of year when many young people finish school for the summer break or complete their academic careers and head off to work. It’s an exciting time and brings with it a world of new opportunities and learning. What it also comes with, is the potential exposure to many different hazards including working at heights or directly with electricity.
It’s an important conversation to have with your new and young workers, but where should you start?
MySafeWork, a charity started by a family who lost their loved one, David, at the age of 18 on his second day of his first job will tell you that if they could, they should have asked one simple question after his first day: what training and orientation did you have? Had they started with this simple question they would have heard that there wasn’t any training or orientation, or at least it was so minimal that you couldn’t call it training or orientation, and maybe they could have asked more questions of their son’s employer.
At a minimum you want your young or new workers to have a general awareness of the health and safety requirements while working in Ontario. In Ontario, all workers are required upon hire to complete a general awareness training program. This is also available, at no cost, on the Ministry of Labour website in Ontario.
Workplace Safety and Prevention services in association with the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) created a website called Bring Safety Home providing additional tools and resources which would be applicable to any new or young worker.
At a minimum, have a talk with your young or new worker about workplace safety.
Lee-Anne Lyon-Bartley also lovingly known as “The Safety Diva” is currently the Supervisor of Health, Safety, and Wellness at The Region of Peel. She has worked in both Occupational and Public Health related positions for over years in the private and public sectors.