Young and new workers need special attention because they are at more risk of injury than their older or more experienced counterparts. The injury rate for young workers, especially young male workers, is much higher than that of the overall population.
In the Regulation, a “young” worker is defined as any worker who is under 25 years of age. A “new” worker is anyone who is:
- New to the workplace
- Returning to a workplace at which hazards in that workplace have changed
- Affected by a change in the hazards of a workplace, or
- Relocated to a new workplace (if the hazards in that workplace are different from the hazards in the worker’s previous workplace)
Your obligation as an employer under the Regulation
Your company is unique, and the way in which you comply with the Regulation may well vary from similar workplaces. It may also vary from job to job within your workplace.
The required orientation and training for young or new workers must address a number of subject areas. Some examples of these include information on rights and responsibilities, workplace hazards, health and safety rules, safe work procedures, personal protective equipment, and emergency procedures.
You must provide additional training if you detect that a young or new worker is unable to perform work tasks or work processes safely, or when the young or new worker requests additional training. As an employer, you must document all your orientation and training efforts.
Although training is vital, a single training session is not enough to ensure ongoing safety. You can decrease risk of injury in your workplace if you:
- Observe work activity to ensure that safe work practices are being followed consistently and correctly.
- Support positive behaviour when safe work practices have been used.
- Correct unsafe work practices when they are observed.
- Hold young workers accountable for not following safe work procedures.
- Reinforce safe work practices by periodically presenting safety talks or crew talks at the beginning of a shift.
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