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Published byEgbert Green Modified over 7 years ago
Workplace Safety Young Workers
Why is this important? Canadian statistics show that one in seven young workers are injured on the job. The leading causes of death among young workers are electrocution and machine injury.
More statistics… In one year alone, 110 000 young people (15- 29) were seriously injured on the job. These statistics mean that young workers represent one in every four injured workers in Canada.
Wake up & smell the coffee… These numbers are far too high and show that we should all do more to learn about working safely.
Understanding Your Rights Right to Know – You have the right to know about unsafe materials and/or dangerous machinery in your workplace. The first step is to get proper health & safety training, including learning how to identify workplace hazards and know the proper course of action when there is an accident or spill.
Your Rights Right to Participate – You should report any unsafe practices or conditions you see. Many workplaces have committees devoted to health & safety. Learn whom you can get help from if you have questions about the safety of your working conditions.
Your Rights Right to Refuse Unsafe Work – If you think that the work you do or the piece of equipment you use is unsafe, you can stop the work immediately by citing your legal right to refuse unsafe work. Contact your supervisor or health & safety representative to find out how to correct the unsafe situation.
Asking Questions Everyone needs to have his/her tasks explained. Your employer should first explain your duties, then show you what to do. If you have a good understanding of the tasks, you should be able to explain them back to your supervisor.
Asking Questions Once you can do this, try to perform the tasks under supervision – at least for the first few times – to be sure you understand all the details.
It’s okay to ask questions! If you don’t understand the instructions, it’s okay to ask questions. Understanding the instructions means that you will have a much greater chance of doing the work properly & safely.
Rules for Working Safely Don’t do any task until you’ve been properly trained. If you’re getting too much information too fast, ask your supervisor to slow down and repeat the instructions. Don’t leave your work site unless you’ve been told to do so. Other work sites may have special hazards you don’t know about (e.g. toxic chemicals, power lines, slippery floors, etc.)
And… If you are unsure of something – ask! A supervisor or co-worker may help you to prevent an accident from happening. Don’t hesitate to ask for more training. Wear the proper personal protective equipment. Find out what to do in an emergency situation. Report any accidents to your supervisor immediately.
Before you even take a job… At the job interview make a mental note of the following: Did the employer mention any equipment that you might be working with? If so, will you be trained how to use it safely? Did you see warning signs posted in hazardous areas?
And.. Are there safety posters on the walls? Did you notice a bulletin board for safety messages? Are the employees wearing protective equipment (e.g. safety glasses, safety shoes, gloves, hard hat)?
Young Workers at Risk Young workers are often so intent on impressing a potential employer at a job interview that they often neglect to ask about workplace safety or job training. Some young workers claim to understand the safety instructions they are given when they really don’t in order to please the trainer.
Be Safe! To achieve the highest level of safety you must possess KNOWLEDE about the hazards you may encounter, PRACTICAL SKILLS to avoid them, and MOTIVATION to apply your safety skills and knowledge.
A few practical tips.. If you aren’t given one, ask for a copy of the safety rules. Ask experienced employees (during training) about safety hazards. Learn how to recognize the WHMIS hazard symbols and know what they mean. Know how to wear your protective equipment properly. Follow all safety precautions.
Remember… If there is any doubt in your mind as to the safety of the materials you are handling or the duties of your employment, you have the right & the responsibility to bring your concerns to the supervisor’s attention. Ultimately you have the right to REFUSE unsafe work, and employers cannot fire anyone for exercising this right.
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