Restaurant industry generates highest proportion of B.C. injury claims for young workers

More young workers hurt in restaurants than in four other sectors combined

In B.C.’s restaurant industry, about the same number of young people are injured on the job as are hurt in the province’s retail, construction, manufacturing and supermarket sectors combined.

Last year in B.C. more than 11,000 young people (aged 15 to 24) were injured on the job, with many more injuries going unreported. Every week five young people are permanently injured. Last year, six young workers were killed.

Common injuries to young workers are cuts, burns, strains and falls.

Sixteen-year-old Sean Regan was injured while working at his first job at Earl’s Tin Palace in West Vancouver. Last March, he slipped and his right knee plunged into a bin of hot oil that was on the floor of the kitchen.

“I remember screaming from the pain,” he said. Sean’s mother happened to be the emergency room nurse at Lions Gate Hospital that night. She stood by as morphine was administered for his pain and waited for his leg to cool before she could dress his wounds.

Regan’s accident prompted his employer to renew its commitment to the health and safety of their employees. Earl’s is now developing improved procedures for cleaning the company’s deep fryers.

The Workers’ Compensation Board in B.C. offers a wide range of resources and information designed to help young people and their employers work more safely. Recently, they distributed health and safety packages to smaller restaurants in the province. The kits contained guidelines which were developed by White Spot restaurants for its operations.

To order booklets, posters and other information, call Publications and Videos at the WCB, (604) 276-3068 or toll-free in B.C. 1-800-661-2112, ext. 3068. Visit the WCB’s Web site at www.worksafebc.com.

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