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When most Nova Scotians were asked to stay home during the pandemic, many young workers went to work on the frontlines, filling the essential services roles that kept the province going.
They filled take-out orders, they checked out groceries, they worked drive-thru windows and so much more. Sadly, many of them got hurt doing it.
In 2020, 2,741 workers under the age of 25 were injured on the on job in Nova Scotia – 519 of them lost time from work because of their injuries, compared to 592 in 2019 and 593 in 2018.
As high school ends, summer job season begins.
For many young workers, it could be their first job. And those first jobs will influence the safety standards they will carry with them through the rest of their careers. Those who enter the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic should see workplace safety at the forefront like never before – it will be up to all of us to ensure those standards apply long after it's over.
As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, young workers, their employers, parents and teachers can help reinforce and demonstrate that their safety is the number one priority when it comes to preventing all workplace injury and illness.
As an employee, you are expected to take every reasonable precaution to protect your own health and safety, and that of other people at or near the workplace.
You have a right to know about workplace hazards and how to keep yourself and others safe, to take part in making the workplace safe, and to refuse work that is not safe for you or another worker.
Read more: Internal Responsibility System
Under the OH&S Act, employers must take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of people at or near the workplace.
When it comes to young workers, you have an obligation to provide leadership and mentorship to help them understand why workplace safety should be their number one priority. You are required to help them access the tools and training they need to make it so.
Read more: Supervisors, It’s Your Job
You taught your kids to look both ways and to not talk to strangers. It is just as important to talk to your kids about workplace safety. Young workers and new workers are five times more likely to be hurt in the first month than workers who have been in their current job more than one year. Ask your child about their safety at work.
Read more: For Parents; Questions to Ask Your Kid
Workplace health and safety education and training are vital to how students and adult learners think about staying safe at work. Our free resources are designed to support teaching and learning in career colleges, community based learning organizations and the public school system.
Read more: Classroom Resources
The resources below can be used and shared to help young workers understand their rights and responsibilities, and help set them up for long-term success.
Check out our young worker hub for a compilation of some of our best tips and prevention resources for young workers, including videos, discussion guides, workplace kits and much more. We’re always adding new blogs and safety resources to worksafeforlife.ca, so be sure to come back often!
Meet Rod Stickman. Fun, a little quirky, and packed with information (plus a cow, a bear, and a monkey) this video covers big issues in workplace safety, in an entertaining way. It's a great way to get the conversation about safety started, for young workers and veterans alike. Use our discussion guides and tip sheets to cover what you learned together.
This downloadable/printable brochure includes important information for young workers on their rights, how to identify risks, and tips for talking to their boss about safety. Make it a part of your orientation package for all young workers.
The Safety Sticks kit is designed to help prevent young worker injuries by opening up a dialogue about workplace safety. The kit includes tools and strategies to help you work together with your young workers to create a safer work environment, including informative stickers, posters, pledge forms and more. Order your free kit today.
If I’m hurt at work, what do I do? Who do I go to if I have any safety concerns? Young workers have lots of great questions, and we’ve got answers. Check out our FAQ section that will help your young workers understand some of the safety basics they may be wondering about, and make sure to discuss the specific details about your workplace.
Put everything you learned on worksafeforlife.ca to the test by taking our safety quiz. Get any wrong? Take another look around the site to find the information you need to ensure you're set up for success.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety’s Young Worker Zone provides resources for workers, employers, parents and teachers, including videos, fact sheets, posters, quizzes and much more. Spend some time browsing through this section and encourage your co-workers to do the same.