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Conversations about workplace safety aren’t always easy to get started, but they’re vitally important for workers, employers and parents. In 2011, 3,500 workers in NS under the age of 25 were hurt on the job, and nearly 700 of those were hurt seriously enough to require time away from work. In fact young workers in this province are five times more likely to be hurt during their first month on the job than workers who have been working for a year.
If you are a young worker in Nova Scotia, no matter where you work, you have rights when it comes to your health and safety. You have the right:
• To refuse unsafe work
• To know about hazards in your workplace
• To participate in your own safety
Employers have an important role too. It’s up to employers to make sure their employees are aware of the dangers and required safety precautions in the workplace, and that they feel comfortable talking about their safety concerns. Employers need to show leadership, be proactive and make safety an important part of every work day.
For parents it’s important to start talking to your kids about workplace safety as they start looking for work. When they are hired, find out as much as possible about their jobs. Research shows that young workers are usually afraid to speak up because they want to make a good impression and appear capable. Ask your kids what they do at work, whether they’ve received training, and whether they feel comfortable reporting safety concerns. Make sure they:
• Work safely, always use machinery and equipment the way they were trained
• Report hazards
• Use and wear protective equipment
Find more information about Young Worker safety