Workplace Experiences of Young Workers in Ontario
Lewko, J., Runyan, C., Tremblay, C., Staley, J., & Volpe, R. (2010). Workplace Experiences of Young Workers in Ontario. Canadian Public Health Association, 101(380-384).
We examine the workplace experiences of Ontario youth in the service sector, with a particular interest in hazard exposures, safety training and supervision.A cross-sectional telephone survey in 2008 of working youth aged 14-18. Items queried respondents about the tasks performed, worker training and supervision. The study parallels one already published in the US. This is the first Canadian study of its kind. Although teens reported working more hours during vacation, a substantial number of youth are working at least 20 hours per week when school is in session, and many reported having worked after 11 pm on a night before school. Young workers engaged in a variety of hazardous tasks, including heavy lifting, using sharp objects, working with hot equipment, or working around falling objects. A small subset (7.5%) of teens had suffered an injury at work that was severe enough to cause them to miss a day of school or work or require medical attention. The majority of workers had received training on how to use equipment safely and how to avoid an injury. More females than males received training. Although regular check-ins were common, many youth (38%) said they had worked at least part of the day without supervision. Young females were most likely to work without supervision or to work alone. This study questions whether the regulations in Ontario are sufficient to protect young workers from exposures to work-related hazards.