Youth account for over 15% of all workplace injuries in Manitoba.
Injury rates among young workers spike between May and September, when youth are off school and in their temporary or seasonal jobs.
Most of these youth work their first job in the service industry – and most don't realize the risks they face when starting new and unfamiliar work.
They are eager to do a good job, want to make a good impression and are afraid of looking incapable and losing their job. This can lead to them not asking questions or speaking up when they have concerns.
As a parent, you can help prevent your teenager from being injured on the job by helping them learn how to be SAFE at work.
As a parent it is important to remind your young worker to ask questions at the workplace.
To start a dialogue about workplace safety and health, and to help prevent injuries while on the job, ask your teen:
- Did you receive a safety and health orientation and training specific to your tasks?
- Does your supervisor work in or near your work area?
- Does your supervisor provide on-the-job feedback, including information and training on how to work safely?
- Do you report concerns to your supervisor? Do you feel comfortable doing so?
- What tasks do you normally perform at work?
- Are you tired at work?
- Do you have to climb or work at heights? Do you lift and carry heavy objects?
- Do you know what kind of protective equipment to wear? Have you been trained how to use it?
- Do you work with chemicals? Have you been trained to work with them safely?
- Do you know it is important for you to report an injury to your supervisor?
If you have any questions or concerns about your teen's safety at work call SAFE Work Manitoba at 204-957-SAFE (7233) or toll free at 1-855-957-SAFE (7233).
You can help by reinforcing the rights and responsibilities all workers in Manitoba have.
Basic rights include:
The Right to Know what hazards are in the workplace and how to prevent injuries from those hazards
The Right to Participate in health and safety activities in the workplace without fear of discipline
The Right to Refuse work they reasonably believe could be dangerous to themselves or others
The Right to Protection from reprisal prevents the employer from disciplining or carrying out a reprisal against workers if they try to protect themselves or another worker from unsafe conditions
All workers have the responsibility to:
Work Safely using all machinery, equipment and work procedures according to proper safety training.
Report Hazards if they suspect a hazard is present or if they know Manitoba's health and safety laws are not being followed. Workers must report the circumstances to their supervisor or employer as soon as possible.
Use or Wear Protective Devices. Workers must wear all personal protective equipment required for their job. They must never remove a guard or device designed to protect them. Wearing safety gear and using safety devices is the law!
Your job doesn't end when they go to work.
Many parents assume their teen works in a safe environment, has received proper health and safety training and will tell them if they think their workplace is unsafe, but this is not necessarily the case.
Most young workers are eager to get into the workforce and earn some money. They have much to offer but are new, inexperienced and anxious to please.
Start talking to your teens about safety when they start looking for work and encourage them to ask about safety procedures as early as during the interview process.
Tell them that their employers are responsible for providing safety training when they start their jobs. Also let them know that they have the right to ask questions and refuse tasks if they feel conditions are unsafe. Let them know you want them to say no to unsafe work.
Remind them that no job or paycheque is worth being injured.
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