Teen Worker Safety: Starting Out on the Right Foot

Early work experience can be a great opportunity for teenagers. Ensure teenage employees’ work experiences are safe and rewarding by taking the time to teach them their responsibilities and rights as an employee.

Share with them their responsibilities

  • Follow all safe work practices as directed by your employer and supervisor.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for clarification. Follow up with your supervisor if you feel you need further training.
  • Don’t rush. Working safely may seem to slow you down, but ignoring safe work procedures can lead to unnecessary injury or harm.
  • Be aware of your working environment at all times.
  • Make sure to tell someone if you ever feel threatened or in danger at work.
  • Use your best judgment and trust your instincts while on the job.
  • Not only is underage drinking illegal, it is never allowed in the workplace.

Go over their rights

  • You have the right to work in a safe and healthy workplace free of hazards.
  • You have the right to refuse to work if you believe a job or working condition is unsafe and exposes you to immediate danger.
  • You have the right to report safety hazards to your supervisor or boss without fear of being illegally punished or fired.
  • You have the right to only work the limited hours and types of work permitted by provincial and federal laws.
  • You have the right to receive training and use required personal protective equipment such as safety clothing, hard hats, goggles and earplugs.
  • You have the right to receive health and safety information about machines, job tasks and hazardous chemicals that may be harmful to your health.
  • You have the right to demand payment for your work – at least at the current minimum wage allowed in Ontario.
  • You have the right to work in an environment free of racial or sexual harassment. 
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