Be aware of common injuries

Some injuries are more common among young workers. You can help prevent them with proper training, supervision, and by talking to your young workers about safety.

What are the common injuries for young workers, and how do I prevent them?

  • Step ladders

    Step ladders are a tool used in many workplaces and they can be a potential hazard. Here’s how you can help avoid falls and injuries.

    • Inspect the ladder before using it to make sure that there are no broken, cracked, or missing parts
    • Place the ladder on a firm, level surface, ensuring that the ladder is fully opened with spreaders locked in place.
    • Always have three points of contact with the ladder (e.g. one hand and two feet)
  • Hazardous products

    If your workers are required to use hazardous products, make sure they know how to safely use the product.

    • Carefully read labels on chemicals
    • Supply all protective equipment recommended by the manufacturer
    • Store chemicals properly after use
  • Knives, box cutters, and other sharp tools

    Knives, box cutters, and other sharp tools are used in many workplaces. Here’s how workers can help avoid injuries.

    • Always cut away from the body
    • Use a flat surface to cut on
    • When using meat slicers or other power equipment, don’t wear loose clothing or jewellery that could get caught
  • Power tools and equipment

    It’s important to know which tool to use for each job, and how to use the tools safely.

    • Never allow a worker to use a power tool or equipment unless they have been trained and authorized
    • Inspect tools before use, ensuring that the tool is in good operating condition
    • Check that the power switch is in the “off” position before plugging the tool in
  • Noise

    Though noise-induced hearing loss typically happens gradually, the damage is permanent. Here’s how you can help reduce or eliminate hearing loss at work.

    • Ear buds (headphones) are not work equipment and they don’t provide hearing protection
    • Ensure the hearing protection you are providing workers is the right type for the environment they’re in and that it’s comfortable
    • Make sure workers and management wear approved hearing protection when entering an area that is posted as having high noise levels, regardless of if it’s  noisy or not when you enter
  • Forklifts and pallet jacks

    If your worksite requires workers to use a forklift or a pallet jack, make sure they get proper training and follow safe work procedures.

    • Wear required safety equipment such as safety boots and a hard hat
    • Secure the load properly — never overload the forklift
    • Never carry a passenger or elevate a person on forks, pallets, or loads
  • Working alone

    Working alone means that in case of an emergency, help would not be readily available. Here are some tips to help your employees stay safe while working alone. 

    • Ensure appropriate person-check procedures are in place — someone should be checking in with workers regularly to make sure they’re okay
    • Have an emergency phone number handy
    • If possible, leave back doors locked
    • Leave higher-risk tasks — emptying garbage outside for example — for when there is more than one employee working