Young Workers Program
Young workers are up to 3 times more likely to be injured during their first month on the job. More than 1.5 million young people aged 15 to 24 work across Ontario, and every year more than 6,000 are injured seriously enough to need time off work.
Young workers are generally inexperienced and keen to learn and participate in the workplace. However, they may not recognize certain health and safety hazards or be hesitant to ask questions or bring up concerns.
The best way to mitigate risk to young workers is to provide adequate training and foster a positive safety culture in the workplace.
Young Workers: Staying safe at work
- Attend the mandatory “Young Worker Health & Safety Awareness training” offered by EHS
- Be aware of your worker rights (Right to Know, Right to Refuse, Right to Participate)
- Ask questions and get involved in the discussion about workplace safety
- Wait until you have received training before using new equipment or completing new tasks (never assume)
- Wear all appropriate Personal Protective Equipment
- Report all hazards to your supervisor, even if it involves another worker.
- Follow all safety rules. If you don’t know why a rule exists, ask.
- Be honest. If you are uncomfortable, stop and ask for help.
- If you’re hurt, tell someone! Even a small injury can become a big problem if ignored.
Supervisors: Keeping your Young Workers safe
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), Supervisors are responsible for:
- Ensuring that workers perform their jobs safely using appropriate equipment and protective devices required
- Training and informing workers of actual and potential workplace hazards
Other ways to keep your young workers safe:
- Ensure they have completed the mandatory “Young Worker Health & Safety Awareness training” offered by EHS
- Discuss safety and encourage questions and ideas
- Have experienced workers coach young workers if possible
- Involve them in workplace safety inspections if reasonable to do so
- Lead by example!