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 2011 and 2015, 33 young workers aged 15 to 24 died in work-related incidents, according to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) statistics. In 2015, five young workers died.
Between 2011 and 2015, the WSIB approved 31,689 lost-time claims from young workers. In 2015 alone, injuries to young workers resulted in more than 6,400 lost-time claims. More than 60 per cent (4,072) of those claims were from male workers.
In 2015, many of the injured young workers aged 15 to 19 years old were food counter attendants and kitchen helpers. Many of the injured young workers aged 20 to 24 years old were labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities.
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 basic mandatory health and safety awareness training is completed by all supervisors and workers.
For more information on legal responsibilities, please visit the 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.
Employers must provide workplace-specific training to all workers to protect their health and safety. It is recommended the training focus on:
Call toll-free 1-(877)-202–0008 any time to report critical injuries, fatalities or work refusals.
Call Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for general inquiries about workplace health and safety. Always call 911 in an emergency.
Disclaimer: This web resource has been prepared to assist the workplace parties in understanding some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the regulations. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation.
It is the responsibility of the workplace parties to ensure compliance with the legislation. This web resource does not constitute legal advice. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation and its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel.
While this web resource 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 web resource does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.