Hamilton, ON — The Ontario government is challenging employers and young workers to take immediate action to ensure a safe summer, says Brad Clark, the province’s labour minister.
Clark had issued the challenge to mark North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, May 4-10, 2003.The annual campaign focuses the attention of employers, employees and the public on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace.
This year’s theme was on preparing young workers for the future.
“Last year, sadly, the Ministry of Labour reported the deaths of eight young workers, most during the summer months. We can’t repeat that this year,” said Clark. “That is why I am extending a Safe Summer Challenge to young workers, their parents and employers to make this summer fatality free.”
The minister has been touring the province on a Live Safe! Work Smart! Young Worker Health and Safety Tour since being appointed labour minister in April, 2002. As part of the tour, he has been speaking to students, youth groups and health and safety associations about the importance of workplace health and safety.
Young workers need to arm themselves with the knowledge and training to ensure they come home safe this summer, said Clark. Information for young workers is readily available through WorkSmartOntario (www.WorkSmartOntario.gov.on.ca), a new website for young and new workers in Ontario.
It is the first government website in Canada that gives young workers easy access to occupational health and safety and employment standards information.
Clark also said employers have a responsibility to provide appropriate training and supervision for young workers. They should act now to make sure they are ready for this summer’s young workers.
More information on NAOSH Week is available at www.naosh.ca.