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Does a 23 year old apprentice already employed in a business need to be re-oriented/trained on July 26, 2007 because he is still a young worker?
No. This particular worker does not need to be oriented and trained again, assuming that the proper orientation and training was completed when he was hired. The requirements for orientation and training, as outlined in section 3.23 of the OHS Regulation, apply as of July 26, 2007 for any new or young worker who begins work on or after that date.
However, if an existing worker was to be affected by a change in the hazards at their workplace or at a different location of that workplace, the employer would need to follow the new orientation and training requirements.
What type of documentation of orientation and training is a company required to keep in order to comply with the Regulation?
The documentation should show that the orientation and training under the Regulation has been provided to each new and young worker before they begin work. You must also document any additional orientation and training that may be needed based on a request by the worker, or their performance on the job.
You may want to use a checklist such as the one available at (www.worksafebc.com/publications/health_and_safety
/by_topic/assets/pdf/YW_Orientation.pdf). You can also customize your own checklist and/or documentation to reflect the specifics of your workplace. The worker should sign an acknowledgement that they have completed the orientation and training, and be given a copy of the relevant documents.
How does an employer know that enough change has occurred in the hazards in the workplace that the returning worker must be re-oriented?
The Regulation defines a hazard as, "a thing or condition that may expose a person to a risk of injury or occupational disease." It is difficult to predict every situation that will be a new of different hazard. Employers are expected to exercise reasonable judgment. And if in doubt, err on the side of providing the required orientation and training.
Often, a change in a process, job task or procedures at a workplace can act as a signal to an employer to consider if a new or different hazard to workers has resulted.
If a workplace has hazards not included in the Regulation are they required to be included in the orientation, or can they be covered at a later date?
In fact, the Workers Compensation Act and the Regulation require that workers be protected from all hazards in a workplace, not just those specifically referenced in the Regulation. Therefore, all hazards that workers may be exposed to in an employer's workplace must be covered in the orientation and training before the new or young worker begins work.
Can workers be shown where the employer's policies are kept and then review them at a later date?
No. The Regulation requires that new or young workers receive orientation and training before the worker begins work.
If not all the hazards or conditions described in the new section of the Regulation are present at the worksite - does our orientation still have to cover these topics?
Some topics listed in section 3.23 of the Regulation may not be applicable in a given workplace. The employer can adjust the orientation and training accordingly.
Does an employer have to do orientation and training individually?
Not necessarily. The employer could deliver to a group of new or young workers the topics that are "generic" or common to all workers in that workplace. Examples of generic topics include: employer and worker rights and responsibilities under the Workers Compensation Act; the employer's occupational health and safety program; and, generic aspects of WHMIS.
Topics not common to all workers at the employer's workplace should be given specifically to each worker, or group of workers, who will be doing the same job at the same site. Topics that usually need to be individualized for each worker include: instruction and demonstration of a work task or process; workplace health and safety rules; name and contact of supervisor; and, personal protection equipment.
More information about ways to deliver the orientation and training are available in the WorkSafeBC OHS Guideline (G3.23 Young or new worker orientation and training).
Does a community centre using teenage volunteers in its programs need to provided training and orientation?
Volunteers (persons not receiving payment for their services) are generally not considered "workers." For these persons, the employer is not obligated to provide the orientation and training set out by the Regulation.
However, legal liabilities or the policies of the organization which is relying on volunteers, may dictate that the volunteers be trained and oriented. Plus, following the orientation and training requirements set out in the Regulation is recommended as a good practice to help ensure the health and safety of volunteers.
Are young workers injured more often than older workers are?
Yes. Young males under the age of 25 are at the highest risk for a workplace injury in B.C.; three out of every four young workers claims are for young males. The injury rate for young male workers is about 74 percent higher than the overall injury rate in B.C. This means one of every 21 working young males is hurt on the job in our province.
Young women are injured on the job much less frequently than young men -- one in 63 young females was injured on the job last year. One reason for the difference is that males are often employed in higher risk jobs and young male workers work on average more hours per week than young female workers.
What are the top dangers for young workers in the workplace?
We analyzed claims of young workers injured on the job and identified the seven most dangerous tasks. These seven dangers resulted in 34% of the claims and 52% of the serious injuries suffered by young workers during the five-year period.
For more information go to the Top seven dangers page.
In which industry do young workers receive the most injuries?
Restaurants are the number one industry young worker injuries occur in. The second most common industry is supermarkets, followed by general retail.
For more information go to the Industry profiles page.
Why are young workers getting injured on the job?
WorkSafeBC commissioned research designed to explore the underlying attitudes towards young workers and workplace injury among a range of stakeholders including: youth, parents, employers, educators, industry representatives, labour associations, and community and youth groups. The research revealed consistent themes why young workers are injured. These include:
Who is responsible for young worker safety?
Anyone involved with youth and young workers has a stake in promoting a safe and healthy work environment. Employers, supervisors, unions, educators, parents, community groups, and young workers must share in the responsibility.
What are the most effective ways to prevent young worker injuries?
WorkSafeBC research among young worker stakeholders raised common themes on ways to prevent young worker injuries. These include:
Is there a particular age limit in relation to Workers Compensation coverage?
WCB coverage is not limited by age. Workers' Compensation insurance provides compensation to anyone who is a "worker" for personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment. A worker includes anyone who enters into a contract of service or apprenticeship, independent operators, certain learners (required to complete vocational training by the employer) and volunteers, independent operators admitted by WorkSafeBC, or persons in a Ministry of Skills Development and Labour vocational training program deemed to be workers by WorkSafeBC.
For inquiries regarding the minimal age requirements for young workers please contact Employment Standards Branch information line at 1-800-663-3316 or visit the Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services web site at www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb
How to contact us if you have questions?
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2. Call us at 604 276-3100 or toll-free at 1 888 621-SAFE (7233)
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