Bridging the safety gap for vulnerable young workers using employment centres

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Published: May 2009

by: Breslin FC, Wood M, Mustard C

Young people aged 15 to 24 years who are out of school (and especially those with less than a high school diploma) are at a particularly elevated risk of work injury. An Ontario Ministry of Labour action group made recommendations to improve safety preparation and reduce work injuries in this “high risk” subgroup of young workers. Because many of these youth use services at youth employment centres, the action group recommended the centres as a potential partner in these efforts.

To determine the optimal way to improve occupational health and safety (OHS) for this “high risk” subgroup of young workers who use employment centres, an Institute for Work & Health research team set out to find out what occupational hazards and injuries these young workers encountered, how their work and injury experience compared to Ontario youth in general, what work safety education and training they had received (and from what sources), and what their current knowledge of work safety was. This report share the team's findings and recommendations.