The 411 On Young Workers


Training and compliance are essential at all levels of experience, but young workers are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents. Newly published results from the Ministry of Labour’s 2014 New and Young Workers Blitz revealed workers are three times more likely to be injured during their first month on the job than at any other time. Here’s the latest buzz around young workers. Do your part to help this critical sector of the workforce thrive!

  • The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives recently released a report concluding that young people need more student aid and more help transitioning into the workforce. The key takeaways were that work experience, gender issues for women, student debt, and poor information can prevent young people from achieving stable employment after graduation. It was suggested that companies modify their qualification requirements to better include young people with less experience.
  • A contracting company in the Calgary region is facing several OH&S charges, including inappropriately employing a person younger than 15 years old, following a July incident in which a 14-year-old employee fell from a roof. The province also came under fire over the summer when a 15-year-old was killed in a conveyor accident near Wintering Hills.
  • Responding to increases in non-unionized, part-time and contract work, a new non-profit hopes to help workers understand their rights, navigate legal and bureaucratic systems, and file insurance claims. The Sudbury Workers Education and Advocacy Centre specifically aims to help young workers understand their rights and protect themselves from being taken advantage of by employers. The organization will present educational workshops in high schools throughout the year.

Opening up opportunities to young workers can certainly be beneficial, but it comes with the additional responsibility of ensuring they have been properly trained and educated BEFORE they go to work. Learning on the job is not sufficient.

Keep in mind that everyone learns differently, and at different speeds. Also remember how valuable seasoned employees can be in sharing their stories and guidance with those just starting out.

Safety News You Can Use


–       The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), in partnership with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada, recently announced a new e-course that will educate workers about the upcoming changes to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) as it aligns with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of classifying and labelling chemicals. WHMIS (After GHS) For Workers will be free for the first 100,000 participants, for up to one year.

–       A 17 year old co-op student was killed at a Niagara-area recycling plant just one week after being placed there. The investigation is ongoing, as discussions over co-op students not being covered by health and safety laws continue to heat up.

–       As Canada’s mining industry faces a skilled worker shortage, Women in Mining announced a new Timmins chapter. The organization has been active in Sudbury for five years, and hopes to encourage women to seek careers in mining, an industry where they currently make up just 16% of the workforce.

–       SAFE Work on Wheels, a mobile safety unit designed to generate workplace safety awareness, was launched on September 26th. The initiative was created by SAFE Work Manitoba and features four safety demonstrations: eye protection, fall protection, lifting, and hand safety.