Update: Ministry of Labour New and Young Worker Blitz

Beginning in May 2015 until August 2015, Ministry of Labour inspectors will be visiting workplaces across Ontario, focusing on the safety of new and young workers. Their goal will be to prevent injuries and deaths.

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.

New workers include:
  • any new hire, either permanent or temporary, including supervisors, with or without experience in the industry where they are working
  •  current workers who are assigned new jobs
  • student workers, co-op placements or apprentices
  • seasonal workers

Workers new to a job are three times more likely to be injured during the first month on the job than more experienced workers.

Between 2006 and 2012, 48 young workers aged 15 to 24 died in work-related incidents, according to  WSIB statistics. During the same period, more than 58,000 young workers received injuries resulting in lost time at work, according to the WSIB.

Examples of safety issues involving new and young workers include failure of employers to:
  • Inform, train and ensure supervision of workers and failure to prepare a written occupational health and safety policy
  • Provide guarding, eyewash fountains, safe material handling procedures, guardrails, lifting devices, safe procedures for ladder use, fire protection and protection against electrical hazards and failure to secure machinery and compressed gas cylinders
  • Comply with the statutory requirements for workplace Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) or health and safety representatives, and failure to ensure JHSC meetings and workplace inspections take place

Please follow the following guidelines to ensure that you are compliant:
  • Take every reasonable precaution in the circumstances for the protection of workers
  • Ensure workers meet sector specific minimum age requirements
  • Provide workers with information (i.e. job details including potential hazards in the workplace, etc), instructions and personal protective equipment where required
  • Orientate, and train new and young workers on topics including:

o   Hazard identification
o   Employee rights (including right to refuse work)
o   Violence and Harassment
o   Rules and regulations

Offer additional training and guidance to ensure that the new or young worker understands health and safety procedures in place. Please refer to Section 25 in the OHSP for more details.

Also, ensure that you have:
  • An updated Health and Safety Policy posted on your Health and Safety Board
  • A copy of the 2013 (or newer) Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations book available in a conspicuous place in your office (Little Green Book)
  • Quarterly JHSC meetings, complete monthly workplace inspections and post the results on your Health and Safety Board.

***For those members who choose to employ workers that are under 18 years of age, we remind you that parent/guardian must accompany their minor during the registration process as they need to sign the parent/guardian form in Section 25 in addition to Parent/Guardian Consent for Employment of a Minor found in Section 2. You must provide the applicant with extra coaching and safety awareness training. ***

Please do not hesitate to contact the Risk Management Department at The Staffing Edge directly should you request further information and/or explanation on this matter. 

For more information on this article or becoming a Staffing Edge Member please visit: www.staffedge.com 

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