Examples of safety issues involving new and young workers include failure of employers to:
- Inform, instruct and ensure supervision of workers and failure to prepare a written occupational health and safety policy
- Provide proper safety measures, such as machine guarding devices, eyewash fountains, guardrails and lifting devices
- Comply with the statutory requirements for workplace Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) or health and safety representatives (HSRs), and failure to ensure JHSC meetings and workplace inspections take place
Inspectors will take enforcement action, as appropriate, in response to any violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.
New and young workers in Ontario are three times more likely to be injured during the first month of employment than at any other time.
Between 2009 and 2013, 30 young workers aged 15 to 24 died in work-related incidents, according to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) statistics.
During the same period, 30,000 young workers received injuries resulting in lost time at work, according to WSIB claims.
In 2013, more than 6,000 young workers received injuries resulting in lost time at work.
In 2013, many of the injured young workers aged 15 to 19 years old were food counter attendants and kitchen helpers. For injured 20 to 24 year olds, many were labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities.
The most common work-related injuries involving young workers were sprains and strains. The majority of lost-time claims approved by the WSIB involved young workers being struck by objects and equipment.
The blitz will focus on safety of:
- Young workers aged 14 to 24 and
- New workers who are on the job for less than six months or assigned to a new job. This includes both “young workers” and those 25 and older.
Ministry inspectors will place special emphasis on the safety of new and young workers in the industrial sector. In particular, industrial inspectors will focus on the following sectors:
- farming operations
- agricultural services
- tourism, hospitality and recreation
- vehicle sales and service
- food, beverage and tobacco
- sawmills & logging
For more information, visit the: Young worker portal on the Ministry of Labour’s website.