Getting hip with the kids (Web Sight)

A look at Web sites on the topic of youth health and safety

Year after year, young workers suffer injuries in the workplace at a greater rate than their older co-workers. Anyone attempting to explain this imbalance as a result of “naive and inexperienced” workers risks missing an important point: young worker safety is the responsibility of the employer. Every organization should have practices, policies and procedures in place to ensure young workers don’t have to learn safety lessons the hard way.


This is North American Occupational Health and Safety Week (May 4 – 10). Aside from information about the week itself there is general health and safety information here, including a special section for young workers. From the home page, click on the “Young worker information” icon on the left side of the page. Under the “Young Workers” heading, users can choose from three sub-pages. Under “Job descriptions and hazards” there is a list of common jobs for young people and the inherent risks. “Younger worker links” points in the direction of other sites of interest.

A checklist for managing new workers

A British site but with some interesting resources. From the home page, click on “employers” and on the navigation bar on left side of this page users can get relevant case stories about young people in the workplace, suggestions for mentors and checklists on issues to discuss when new employees join the organization. For example, with regards to specific restrictions, review what equipment they can use and what can only be done under direct supervision. The section on young worker fears may serve as a helpful reminder for managers that things really are different for young people.

What would you do?

Included here is a safety game that quizzes users on dangers in the workplace. Begin by picking out the right clothes for someone going onto a construction site, then decide what to do when someone appears to be climbing a ladder that appears unsteady. Pretty basic stuff here but nonetheless it may serve as a helpful (and fun) introduction for new workers or a useful refresher for those who have been on the job for a while.

Summer’s almost here — so are summer students

The Education Safety Association of Ontario has a number of brief, practical and informative safety information sheets on specific workplace dangers. With summer approaching and many students hired for outside work, readers may find the briefs on riding mowers, lawn mowers and hedge and edge trimmers particularly useful for educating young workers about dangers.

Why young workers are at risk

This PDF file from the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board gives an explanation why young workers are at higher risk. Young people are usually inexperienced workers who may not recognize many common workplace hazards; they may be overly eager to impress their employers; some of the tasks young workers are expected to perform may be beyond their physical capabilities; and young workers may be asked to operate equipment designed for adults.

Provincial sites

There is also a lot of information available from provincial workers’ compensation agencies. For example, Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board has this site dedicated to young worker issues. Other sites from across the country offer advice, as well as regulations in each jurisdiction. Most of these have search engines and simply entering “young workers” will often provide more information.

British Columbia:





Northwest Territories and Nunavut:



Nova Scotia:

New Brunswick:

Prince Edward Island:

Newfoundland and Labrador:

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