Fatality Notice: IHSA has learned of a construction-related fatality in Sudbury involving a construction worker securing a transport trailer load. One workplace fatality is one too many, regardless of the sector, industry, or occupation. Please take a moment to think about those who have died or been injured on the job and re-establish a commitment to the prevention of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

New Worker Checklist

Summer is here and a throng of young workers have been employed for the next few months. Do you have a young worker orientation program in place to ensure they are prepared for the work ahead?

Employers should prepare for the entry of young workers into the workplace by developing and planning an orientation program that is specific to the special needs of the young worker. A proper orientation is well worth the investment in time and resources.

Here are some of the basic elements that should be covered in a young worker orientation program:

  • Young workers must be made aware of all relevant legislation that applies to the work they will do. This includes the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the basic rights of the worker. Explain their responsibilities under the Act and encourage them to report unsafe conditions and equipment.
  • If the workplace has a joint health and safety committee or representative, young workers must be made aware of who these people are and what role they play in the internal responsibility system. Give the young workers the company's health and safety policy.
  • Young workers must be made aware of the specific hazards in their working environment. This may also include information on WHMIS, specific machinery training, confined space, driver training, or other detailed information required for their tasks.
  • Young workers will require knowledge of the appropriate personal protective equipment to wear. They may also have to be encouraged to wear it. Fellow employees should act as examples.
  • All young workers should be provided specific training on the equipment and tools they may be asked to use. Pay special attention to complex tasks they may encounter. Equipment operation and other complex tasks will require much more comprehensive training. These will include reviews of operator's manuals, maintenance schedules, hands-on training, and specific rules for each piece of equipment.
  • Train young workers in emergency procedures. Describe evacuation requirements, meeting areas, mayday procedures and any other emergency processes. Provide information on first aid procedures and who can assist them if an injury occurs.

It is important to include a broad orientation of procedures and facilities as well as a department-specific training element that delves deeper into the exact nature of the work. Afterwards, evaluate your orientation program in order to determine its effectiveness.

Your orientation program should be designed for your individual company, with specific information tailored to each department.

For more ideas on what to include in your young worker orientation, check out the following links:

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