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WorkSafeBC

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Top 7 Dangers for Young Workers

Lifting objects | Elevated levels | Knives | Hot substances/objects | Operating/working near mobile equipment | Food slicers | Working near running equipment/machinery

Top 7 Dangers facing B.C.'s Young Workers

The following table identifies the top 7 dangers to young workers and the types of jobs where they are at risk.

The danger# of young workers injured per yearTypes of jobs
1. Lifting objects - overexertion causing sprains, strains, tears 950 Retail and grocery clerks, labourers, material handlers, shippers & receivers
2. Working on elevated levels - sprains, strains, tears, & fractures 900 Any job using ladders, stairs, scaffolding, or other raised areas
3. Working with knives - cuts & lacerations 525 Cooks, food service workers, retail clerks & shelf stockers
4. Working with hot substances/objects - burns 350 Jobs in the hospitality & service industries
5. Using mobile equipment or motor vehicles - sprains, strains, tears, & fractures250Any job requiring driving, riding, operating, or operating near mobile equipment
6. Working with food slicers - cuts & lacerations150Deli sales clerks, cooks, food service workers & retail sales clerks in supermarkets
7. Working in proximity to running equipment or machinery - cuts, lacerations, & fractures125Labourers in manufacturing or construction, machine operators, material handlers, bakers & cooks

Lifting Objects

(Approximately 950 claims a year)

person lifting a box Young workers are at significant risk to injury as a result of lifting objects in a number of industries. Generally, injuries incurred are sprains, strains and tears in conjunction with lifting boxes, crates, bags, buckets, pallets, lumber, and structural metal materials. A significant number of these injuries occur to material handlers, retail and grocery sales clerks, labourers, and shippers and receivers.

Web Resources
Videos
Disc protrusion (2 min 7 sec)
Toolbox Meeting Guides
  • 6-minute Safety Talks for Apprenticeship Programs - Culinary Arts
  • StartSafe Safety Tips - Retail
Information Sheets
Booklets
Hazard Alerts
  • 97-09 Don't hold the same position for long periods of time
  • 97-08 Use a full-hand grip
  • 97-07 Reduce repetitive movements
  • 97-05 Avoid awkward work positions
  • 96-08 Use extreme caution when moving heavy objects
Posters
OHS Regulation
Part 4 General Conditions - Ergonomics
Section 4.46 - Definition
Section 4.47 - Risk identification
Section 4.48 - Risk assessment
Section 4.49 - Risk factors
Section 4.50 - Risk control
Section 4.51 - Education and training
Section 4.52 - Evaluation
Section 4.53 - Consultation
Guidelines Part 4 General Conditions - Ergonomics
Guidelines G4.46 to G4.53 Ergonomics (MSI) Requirements

Working on Elevated Levels

(Approximately 900 claims a year)

persons working at elevated levels Generally, young workers are at risk to falls when working on elevated levels in any industry. Situations in which young workers are at risk of falling from elevated levels often involve working on ladders, stairs, scaffolds, and platforms. This also includes jumping to lower levels from stationary vehicles or structures. Injuries range in severity from minor sprains, strains and tears to multiple fractures or even death. One in 7 claims is a fracture. These serious injuries have a profound impact to the worker, generally requiring hospitalization and rehabilitation. Many serious injuries resulting from falls have a profound impact to the worker, generally requiring hospitalization and rehabilitation.

Web Resources
Videos/Slideshows
Bulletins & Meeting Guides
  • Construction Toolbox Meeting Guides - Ladders
  • StartSafe Safety Tips - Ladders
  • 6-minute Safety Talks Apprenticeship Programs - Culinary Arts
  • StartSafe Safety Tips - Retail
Booklet
An Introduction to Personal Fall Protection (PDF 392 KB)
Also available in the following languages:
Hazard Alerts
  • Fatality 2008-10 Worker dies after slipping on frost and falling from roof
  • Injury 07-06 Young worker seriously injured in fall through roof opening
  • WS 05-03 Hazards of Working from Fixed Ladders on Tanks
  • AA 04-09 Falls from stepladders can kill
Signs & Posters
OHS Regulation

Working with Knives

(Approximately 525 claims a year)

person working with a knife Cooks, food service helpers/preparers, retail sales clerks and shelf stockers employed in the restaurant and supermarket industries are at significant risk to cuts and lacerations when working with knives. Often this type of injury occurs when a knife slips in the hand of the worker. Resulting cuts and lacerations range in severity with one in 130 claims being an amputation of a finger or thumb.

Web Resources
Bulletins & Meeting Guides
Booklets

Working with Hot Substances or Objects

(Approximately 350 claims a year)

deep fat fryer Cooks, waiters, and food preparers employed in the hospitality/service industry (e.g., restaurants, hotels, pubs, food/beverage concessions) are at significant risk to heat burns and scalds when working with hot substances or objects. Typically these injuries involve hot fats and oils or hot water, and may also involve steam, other food products or even pots, pans, and trays. Resulting burns range in severity with one in 40 claims being a third degree burn. These serious injuries have a long term, profound impact to the worker, usually requiring hospitalization and cosmetic surgery.

Web Resource
Toolbox meeting guides
Bulletins
Booklets
  • Health and Safety for Hospitality Small Business Guide. See pages 16-18 for information on cleaning a deep fat fryer safely. (PDF 3.2 MB)
  • White Spot Health & Safety Information. See page 17 on handling hot oil (White Spot Restaurants (PDF 243 KB))
Hazard Alert

99-14 Wear flame-resistant clothing when working with flammable liquids and gases

Poster

That's gotta hurt: Get help and use oven mitts (PDF 1 MB)

OHS Regulation
Part 8 Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment:
    Section 8.10: Personal clothing and accessories
    Guideline G8.10 Personal clothing and accessories
    Section 8.31: Flame Resistant Clothing

Part 12 Tools, Machinery and Equipment:
     Welding, cutting and allied processes

Using Mobile Equipment or Motor Vehicles

(Approximately 250 claims a year)

person driving a forklift Generally, young workers are at risk to injury when working with mobile equipment or motor vehicles in any industry. A significant number of motor vehicle accidents involve truck drivers, couriers, delivery drivers, and material handlers. Injuries range in severity from minor sprains, strains and tears to multiple fractures or even death. One in 10 claims is a fracture. These serious injuries have a profound impact to the worker, usually requiring hospitalization and rehabilitation.

Web Resource
Youth in agriculture - Tractors (OSHA)
Slideshows & Videos
Bulletins
StartSafe Safety Tips - Forklifts
Booklets
Safe Operation of Lift Trucks (PDF 85 KB)
Hazard Alerts
  • HF 2009-03 Work schedules and fatigue
  • 08-23 Worker dies after being struck by reversing dump truck
  • Fatality 07-03 Drivers killed when trucks not secured from inadvertent movement
  • 04-16 Garbage truck backs into pole, injuring worker on riding step
  • 04-10 Jump-started crawler runs over operator
  • 02-19 Student dies when vehicle rolls off lift
  • 02-03 Lawnmower overturns, fatally crushing worker
  • 99-07 Establish procedures for working near mobile equipment
Signs & Posters
OHS Regulation
Part 8 Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment:
    Section 8.24: High visibility apparel
Part 16 Mobile Equipment
Part 17 Transportation of Workers

Working with Food Slicers

(Approximately 150 claims a year)

person working with a food slicer Young workers employed in restaurants and supermarkets are at significant risk to injury as a result of working with food slicers. Generally these injuries occur to deli sales clerks, cooks, food service helpers/preparers and retail sales clerks in supermarkets. Around eighty percent of these injuries result in cuts and lacerations. One in 80 claims is an amputation of a finger or thumb. These serious injuries result in significant physical impairment, impacting the injured worker's quality of life.

Bulletins & Meeting Guides
Booklet
Hazard Alert
99-06 Use extreme caution when using meat slicers
Posters

Working in Proximity of Running Equipment or Machinery

(Approximately 125 claims a year)

person working with a table saw Young workers are at significant risk to injury as a result of getting "caught in" running equipment or machinery in a number of industries. Generally these injuries occur to labourers in wood and paper manufacturing, metal fabrication, food and beverage processing, and construction, as well as machine operators, material handlers, bakers and cooks. Half of these injuries involve conveyors, food and beverage processing machinery, sawing, drilling and milling machinery, and powered hand tools. While a variety of injuries can be inflicted, cuts, lacerations, and fractures are most common. One in 8 injuries involves an amputation.

Web Resource
Videos/Slideshows
Bulletins & Meeting Guides
Information Sheets
Booklets
Pamphlets
Hazard Alerts
Signs & Posters
 
OHS Regulation
Part 3 Rights and Responsibilities:
    Sections 3.12-3.13: Refusal of Unsafe Work
Part 4 General Conditions:
    Section 4.3: Safe machinery and equipment
Part 8 Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment
Part 10 De-energization and Lockout
Part 12 Tools, Machinery and Equipment
Part 27 Wood Products Manufacturing

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