Safety in the Workplace
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Glen Paul, 24, a worker at New Gold's New Afton Mine project, near Kamloops, B.C.

Keeping young people safe on the job

Work has economic, educational and social benefits for youth, but it also has risks. Occupational injuries to young people can have devastating and permanent effects.

Young workers are more at risk

Youth face a higher risk of injury at work than does the general working population. There is a popular misconception that young workers incur proportionately more injuries at work because of their risk-taking behaviour and sense of invincibility. But studies have suggested that this is not true.

Lack of experience, training and too many hazards

Today, researchers believe young workers are more at risk because they lack the experience of their peers, they often work in environments with more hazards, and they frequently engage in more physical work than their older counterparts. And some may not have sufficient training and orientation needed to work safely.

Many young people are working or considering their first job by the time they’re 15 or 16 years old. Some work part-time or even full-time over the summer months. Even if they only work a few hours a week, health and safety need to be at the forefront of what they do.

WorksafeBC Young Worker Report

Educators, employers, parents, and youth themselves; all play key roles in the protection of young workers. WorkSafeBC has put together a report that outlines the scope and causes of young worker injuries in B.C., along with examples of how each of the above groups can help reduce hazards faced by young people on the job. You can download and read that report here.



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