In 2013, nearly one-fifth (19.6 per cent) of all injuries in Saskatchewan were acquired by workers under age 25. About 6,000 workers who are 14 to 25 years old are hurt at work in Saskatchewan each year.
In the first six months, young workers are two to three times more at risk for injury than older workers are, and the majority of injuries to young workers occur in July and August.
More than one-half occur in the hospitality, retail, construction and manufacturing industries. The most common injuries are to hands, backs, shoulders, heads and eyes. The most common injury to young people is to be struck by an object, such as a knife slipping.
Young workers have many of the same on-the-job risks as adults, but they are more vulnerable to workplace injuries. In many cases, it’s because of lack of supervision or training, not enough knowledge about the job or responsibilities, or because of their lack of experience in recognizing hazardous situations, said WorkSafe Saskatchewan.
WorkSafe Saskatchewan is reminding youth to keep these tips in mind:
• If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong.
• There’s no such thing as a stupid question.
• Focus on the task.
• Wear the right equipment like gloves, safety glasses and steel-toed boots.
• Lift with care. Ask a co-worker to help. Use a wheeler or a cart to help you move things.