” Let’s make Ontario safe for Young Workers”

Paramount Safety Site Safety Rules 24" Corplast Signage
Site Safety Rules
For a young worker entering the workplace in Ontario for the first time, this could sometimes be overwhelming. When new workers enter the workforce, they are faced with so many decisions. One of the most life threatening sayings that a new worker makes is, “I’m just going to do my job, so I don’t get fired”. Unfortunately this happens so many times in the workplace, and it needs to stop. With the spring and summer months on their way, young workers in Ontario are exchanging their school attire to their work attire. When new workers come to the workplace, they bring with them new ideas. A sense of renewed energy flows throughout the workplace, providing our economy a bright future. Many young workers are excited to be able to generate an income, so they can enjoy spending and saving what they earned. As we all once knew, this was an exciting part of our lives. However, many of these young workers don’t understand the hazards of their workplace and as a result, many have suffered injuries both non life threatening and fatal. Going to work does not mean that you have to suffer injuries or a fatality due to the fact that you didn’t know of the hazards. Working in unsafe conditions is not a part of your employment contract or responsibilities. When all workers enter the workplace, the employer under (Section 25) and supervisors under (Section 27) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, have responsibilities to provide every reasonable precaution in the circumstances to protect the worker. To identify hazards and create control measures is one of these important steps in order to create a safe and health working environment. Young workers also have a responsibility to adhere to the Occupational Health and Safety Act under (Section 28), as well as the right to know under (Section 43) of the OHSA. Did you know that  an average of 70 Ontario workers under the age of 25 are injured on the job. That’s three injured every hour. This has to stop; we need to ask ourselves these questions;
  1. What is the reason why this is happening?
  2. What can we do to prevent this from occurring?
  3. Are we in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and applicable regulations?
  4. Are we promoting a safe and Health workplace for our workers?
  5. Have we identified all the hazards in our workplace?
  6. Have we implemented controls to prevent exposures to hazards?
I have had many discussions regarding a program to ensure the safety of young workers in Ontario. I truly believe that safety should be part of a mandatory credit course, offered in the later part of students secondary education program. This would not only prepare them for what to expect when they enter the workplace, but identify some of the possible hazards associated with the type of work they will choose as a career. We need to ensure that the safety of our young workers is protected each and every day. Providing a safe work environment is not an option, it’s a requirement. A healthy and safe workplace is a productive workplace; remember your safety is paramount, and should not take any short cuts.  

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