A parent's guide to workplace safety
The Ottawa Catholic School Board has designated April 25-29, 2016 as our 8th Annual Workplace Safety Week. This is a time to promote awareness amongst our students about the importance of being safe in the workplace. Student leaders from each of our high schools will gather together with employers, labour representatives, and government safety partners to participate in roundtable discussions on workplace safety.
The tragic story of David EllisRob Ellis' heart broke the day his son didn't come home from work. One February morning in 1999, Rob Ellis' son, David, lost his life on the second day of a temporary bakery job. No other family should have to know the grief the Ellises have endured. Rob now devotes his life to working to do whatever he can to help make Ontario a safer place for everyone — especially for our young workforce.
Young workers under the age of 24 are being hurt and killed on the job every day. They have a greater chance of getting hurt at work than any other age group. The reasons are simple — they have less experience; may not receive proper training and supervision; and, often do not recognize or question dangerous working conditions.
Help your child stay safe at workYoung worker safety remains a high priority for everyone. Every year, the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) receives approximately 50,000 claims from workers under age 24, and about 12 young workers are killed annually. As a parent, you can do a lot to help your child stay safe at work. Open up the discussion between you and your child, before they take that big step into the workforce.
The Ontario Ministry of Labour provides occupational health and safety awareness training programs for workers and supervisors to help employers comply with the training requirements under Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act. To learn more about these training requirements and the ministry's suite of free resources, please visit Ontario.ca/LearnToWorkSafe. Additional resources for young workers can be found at Ontario.ca/YoungWorkers.
If you or your child have any concerns about work safety that are not being addressed, call the Ministry of Labour at 1-800-267-1916.
Encourage your child to become familiar with the issuesBefore your child starts a job, or begins volunteering, encourage them to do some safety research. Some good sites to begin with are, My Safe Work, WSIB Ontario, and Worksmart Ontario.
Some common injuries amongst working teenagersAll injuries, even the perceived “small” injuries must be reported to your child’s supervisor. Impress upon your teen to speak up, to not be shy, and to know their rights. Don’t let them gamble with their health. Injuries for young workers include:
Know your child's rights under the lawThe law provides rights and responsibilities for safety at work. Under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Canada Labour Code, every worker has the right to know about any hazards related to their work. They have the right to participate in making sure their job and workplace are safe and healthy. They have the right to refuse unsafe work. If an employer can't meet these standards, then it is not worth working there.
Be aware of the risks. Understand the requirements of employers to ensure your child's safety.