For Young Workers

For Young Workers

Lots of organizations are getting ready to hire students for the summer, just like GRCGED.  We think that giving our student workers information about health and safety is very important because statistically young workers are more likely to die at work than any other age group.  We hope that students exercise their rights to refuse unsafe work.  If you want more information you can contact the Workers Health and Safety Centre, GRCGED and the Guelph and District Labour Council.

The following info is from the Workers Health and Safety Centre website.  They have lots of info for young workers and not so young workers.  There is great info at the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers too.

If you’re a young worker chances are you hold down at least one part-time job. This job might change on a regular basis.

Changing jobs though isn’t just hard on your wallet, it also increases your risk of being injured on the job. Studies show workers on the job for less than one month report four times as many injuries than those on the job for one year.

Your rights

It’s important to know your health and safety rights from day one. All workers have the right to a safe and healthy workplace, regardless of your age, your experience or where you work.

Ontario workers have three basic legal health and safety rights:

  • The right to know about workplace hazards and necessary control measures;
  • The right to participate in solutions to workplace hazards, best working through the joint health and safety committee (JHSC) in larger workplaces or worker representative in smaller workplaces;
  • The right to refuse unsafe work.

Like many young workers, you might be afraid to speak up and ask questions for fear of losing shifts or your job altogether. These kinds of reprisals are against the law.

You are not alone

By law too, most workplaces must have either a joint health and safety committee, made up of worker and employer representatives, or a worker health and safety representative. These reps can raise health and safety concerns on your behalf and work with your supervisor to find a solution. Ask for their names. Get to know them.

To report unsafe working condition/concerns not resolved at work, work refusals or employer reprisals call the Ministry of Labour at 1-877-202-0008.

To learn more

Look around our website, especially the following WHCS resources targeted especially for youth.