Young and New Worker Orientation resource to help employers reach Mission: Zero

WorkSafe Saskatchewan, along with its partners, introduces the new Young and New Worker Orientation resource to help Saskatchewan employers familiarize new and young workers to workplace safety. Young workers are more likely to be hurt in the workplace than adults. On average, 6,000 people under the age of 25 are injured on the job each year. To get this number down – to reach Mission: Zero – WorkSafe Saskatchewan wants employers to focus on workplace safety.

“Our intention is to prevent workplace injuries and incidents from ever happening,” says Brad Compton, Account Manager with the WCB. “The Young and New Worker Orientation resource supports employers by providing the information and resources they need to promote and support a safe and productive workplace. Whether a business has already implemented a solid safety program or is just starting to work on improving their occupational health and safety standards, we wanted to give them a go-to resource for everything they would need to train and orient young and new workers.”

Young workers are afraid to ask questions or express concerns. They fear they will look stupid or lose their jobs. The Young and New Worker Orientation resource gives employers ideas and tools to engage new workers. When supervisors provide orientation and are willing to answer questions, the new workers are less likely to be injured. By emphasizing the importance of safety in the workplace, employers are building a strong safety culture.

The Young and New Worker Orientation resource also provides the employer with a customizable checklist that they can use. “Although we produced this resource to help employers reduce young worker injuries,” says Compton, “the ultimate goal is to eliminate all workplace incidents and injuries. The checklist is a useful resource that can be used with all new hires – not just young workers.”

The new resource explains employers’ legal obligation to provide a healthy and safe work environment. It encourages them to explain the three rights every worker has in their workplace to new hires and young workers: The right to know the safety hazards; the right to participate in occupational health and safety activities; and the right to refuse dangerous work.

The Young and New Worker Orientation resource and the orientation checklist are available for download at www.worksafesask.ca/resources/publications/ywo.

Quick facts:

  • More than half of all injuries afflicting young workers occur in the hospitality, retail, construction and manufacturing industries. The most common injuries are to hands, backs, legs, arms and eyes.
  • Injury breakdown for young workers under age 25:
  • 46% are cuts, strikes or burns to the hands
  • 17% are back injuries that occur from over-exertion when lifting, climbing, reaching and twisting
  • 15% are sprained, strained or broken legs
  • 11% are cuts, sprains or strains to the arms
  • 10% are eye injuries caused by chips and splinters
  • Tragically, on average, three young people die on the job in Saskatchewan each year.
  • Workers who are 14 or 15 must complete the Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course before working. Learn more at www.saskatchewan.ca/ywrcc.