Young and New Worker Blitz
For the last few months, The Ministry of Labour inspectors have been conducting an enforcement blitz focusing on young workers aged 14-24 years, and new or reassigned workers on the job for less than six months. New workers are three times more likely to be injured during the first month on the job. Results from previous blitzes show that young and new workers continue to be exposed to many of the same hazards, regardless of the size of the workplace or nature of business. The first stops for inspection are workplaces that have never been visited by the Ministry of Labour. The blitz, which started on May 1 will continue until August 31.
What are inspectors focused on?
Inspectors check for compliance with these requirements:
- orientation, training and supervision - are new and young workers receiving the required information, training and supervision required to protect their health and safety when starting a job
- internal responsibility system (IRS) - are employers complying with such requirements as having a joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative
- safety measures - are required measures and procedures in place to prevent injuries and occupational illness.
Turn this blitz into an injury prevention blitz
Follow all of these steps below; you can protect new and young workers and promote a health and safety culture that offers lasting benefits to your business and its employees.
- Before hiring, assess the job and its hazards:
- sprains and strains - the most common injuries among young workers
- slips, trips, or falls
- physical, chemical and biological agents
- Ensure all required safety measures and procedures are in place:
- safe practices for handling materials and using mechanical devices
- guarding devices on machinery
- safe use of lifting devices, ladders and personal protective equipment to prevent falls
- protection against workplace violence and harassment
- Invest in your supervisors:
- Ensure they know the laws, regulations and hazards, and have the training and experience to confidently, persistently help workers follow safe work procedures. Provide time for a buddy system and never leave a new and young worker unsupervised.
- Provide young and new workers with thorough orientation and hazard-specific training:
- Are new and young workers receiving the information and training they need to protect their health and safety?
- Reinforce training by observing and coaching employees on how to perform tasks safely. Encourage and reward their questions.
- Conduct your own blitz inspection:
- Ask new and young employees questions that an inspector might ask.
- Look at your workplace through an inspector's eyes.
- Is your internal responsibility system, including joint health and safety committees or health and safety representatives, meeting legislated requirements?