Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. For further information please see full disclaimer.
Workers new to a job are three times more likely to be injured during the first month on the job than more experienced workers.
“Young workers” are under the age of 25. “New workers” can be of any age who are on the job for less than six months or who are assigned to a new job.
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, more than 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. Of those, about two-thirds were male.
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.
Most injuries and fatalities can be prevented.
Employers are required to provide supervision, information and instruction to all workers, including new and young workers, on how to protect their health and safety in the workplace. This includes information about safe work policies, measures and procedures specific to the workplace and the duties the worker will perform.
It is recommended employers carry out any instruction and provide information to new and young workers in late spring, a common time of year for young people to enter the workforce.
The following are some examples of employers' duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
Employers are required to:
Supervisors are required to:
Workers are required to:
It is the responsibility of employers, owners, constructors and supervisors to ensure all workplace parties comply with the OHSA and its regulations.
The employer is required to ensure that the basic mandatory health and safety awareness training for all supervisors and workers in the workplace is done.
For more information on legal responsibilities please visit: e-Laws: Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Employers, supervisors and trainers should emphasize the need for new and young workers to communicate any questions or concerns they may have about workplace hazards.
Supervisors, or others who will be involved in training new workers, should be familiar with some of the unique health and safety concerns faced by new and young workers.
Call 1–877–202–0008 any time to report critical injuries, fatalities or work refusals.
Call 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, for general inquiries about workplace health and safety.
Always call 911 in an emergency.
Note: While this fact sheet will also be available to Ministry of Labour inspectors, they will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations based on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This fact sheet does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.