As Canadians will celebrate Labour Day on Monday, a tradition observed for well over 100 years in Canada, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada’s Labour Minister, highlighted the importance of providing Canadians with the information they need to prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace, at schools and at home.
“Labour Day and the beginning of a new school year afford us with a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of occupational health and safety,” said Minister Raitt. “Of particular importance is the need to increase knowledge of health and safety issues among young people, as about one-quarter of all occupational injuries happen to people between the ages of 15 and 29. Young Canadians must be able to recognize potential safety hazards and know how they can work safely.”
The Minister of Labour oversees the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), which works to ensure the well-being of workers and promote safe working environments.
Through its Young Workers Zone Web portal (http://www.ccohs.ca/keytopics/youngworkers.html), the CCOHS helps raise health and safety awareness and aims to prevent home and workplace injuries and illnesses by providing resources to employers, parents, teachers and young or new workers.
“I would like to wish all Canadians a happy and safe Labour Day,” added Minister Raitt.
The Labour Program develops, administers and enforces workplace legislation and regulations, such as the Canada Labour Code. These laws cover industrial relations, health and safety, as well as employment standards, and apply to federally regulated workers and employers.
Organization: The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
Established in 1978, the CCOHS has a mandate to promote the total well-being (physical, psychosocial and mental) of working Canadians by providing information, training, education, management systems and solutions that support health, safety and wellness programs.
A not-for-profit federal department corporation, the CCOHS is governed by a tripartite Council, representing government, employers and labour. The CCOHS offers a range of workplace health and safety services to help organizations across Canada raise awareness, assess risks, implement prevention programs, and improve health, safety and well-being.
Project Description: Young Workers Zone (web portal)
The CCOHS provides a variety of resources for young and new workers and their employers, as well as parents and teachers. These resources are delivered in print or via its Internet site, allowing individuals to use their preferred method of communication.
The Young Workers Zone web portal, which provides health and safety tips, facts and links for students, parents and employers includes:
- Teaching Tools designed for teachers of intermediate and senior students, and the Canadian School Board Safety Zone, which is a bilingual portal to Canadian school board specific health and safety information, resources and networking opportunities.
- OSH Answers, a fact sheet information service provided by the CCOHS, provides information on workplace concerns. The Employee Orientation Checklist is found in OSH Answers.
- Online courses such as Orientation on Health and Safety for New Workers and Orientation on Health and Safety for New Agricultural Workers help educate new and young workers about their occupational health and safety rights and responsibilities.
- The CCOHS’ podcast program Health and Safety To Go! as well as a webinar series provide information in formats that expand the reach of health and safety resources to wider audiences (including the visually impaired).
- The Orientation for New Workers publication is a guide for new workers and a tool employers can use as part of their workplace-specific orientation training programs.
- The CCOHS is also working on a project with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Labour to create a safety orientation and information course for all Grade 9 students in the province. The course may become a mandatory part of the curriculum, meaning students would not receive their graduation certificate without taking the online safety course.
For more information, the Young Workers Zone web portal can be accessed at: www.ccohs.ca/keytopics/youngworkers.html.
First Response’s Comments:
This is so important: Canada’s Labour Minister highlights Labour Day and the importance of health and safety awareness among young workers. It never ceases to amaze me how many accidents happen with young workers and it is all because of awareness. We think we are invincible when we are young and do things we would think twice about as we mature. Statistics here in Ontario are that young workers are 6 times more likely to get killed or injured on the job than a seasoned worker. I love it when I get young workers in the classroom for my courses, especially when there is an age mix across the board. They get the benefit of the experiences from the rest of the group and (hopefully) take some of it to heart. What are you doing to highlight Labour Day and the importance of health and safety awareness among your young workers?