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Five questions new workers should ask their boss

By COS staff
| www.cos-mag.com

Young workers going into a new job will be asking questions about their safety and it won’t hurt for their would-be supervisors to be prepared with helpful answers. Work Safe Alberta’s BloodyLucky.ca, a website dedicated to raise safety awareness among young workers, lists five questions that new and young workers should ask their employer when starting a new job.

Are your supervisors and managers confident they can adequately answer these five life-saving questions?

Young workers, ages 15 to 25 years old, make up about 15 per cent of Canada’s working population. This may seem like a small percentage but when it comes to workplace injury, young worker statistics are staggering.

In 2006 alone, 11,382 young workers were injured on the job, according to data from the Industrial Accident Prevention Association. These workplace neophytes are also twice as likely to suffer injuries at work as their adult counterparts, and five times more likely to get injured in the first four weeks on the job.

The good news is that there is significant information and awareness campaigns going on across the country to help young workers and their employers be more cognizant of and better manage safety risks.

Young workers going into a new job will be asking questions about safety and it won’t hurt for their would-be supervisors to be prepared with helpful answers. Work Safe Alberta’s BloodyLucky.ca, a website dedicated to raise safety awareness among young workers, lists five questions that new and young workers should ask their employer when starting a new job.

Are your supervisors and managers confident they can adequately answer these five life-saving questions?

1.    How can I be injured doing my job?

Employers must tell workers about any known hazards in the workplace – such as exposure to chemicals, situations in which there are risks of falling from heights, working around potentially dangerous equipment or machinery, or risks of repeated exposure to high noise levels. More importantly, employers must educate workers on how to work safely around these hazards.

2.    What safety procedures do I need to follow?

The conversation of risks should lead to information about safety procedures that need to be followed, including the use of personal protective equipment where applicable, information about safety meetings, emergency procedures and what their health and safety responsibilities are.

3.    Who will give me safety training?

Provide information about the company’s safety training provisions – what they are and how often they are done. Training programs are designed to provide new and young workers the skills they would need to do their job safely. Make sure the employee is aware of this, as well as his legal rights including refuse-to-work provisions.

4.    Do I need safety gear?

If the employee requires safety gear to perform his job, make sure they are adequately trained on proper usage of the equipment.

5.    What happens if I get hurt?

Provide information about first aid equipment and services at your workplace. Make sure the right type of first aid kid is provided and an appropriate number of people are trained in first aid. Provide information as to who the first aid workers are. Inform the employee about procedures for reporting an injury to the employer as soon as possible.

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