“New Kid Know Kid“, produced by Grade 11 students in Powell River, shows a young worker asking all the right questions about safety when he starts a new job. The foreman is busy and doesn’t offer all the equipment (which he has in his van) til the new worker asks for it and also ensures he is being paid fairly. He shows the foreman – very politely – that he knows his rights, thanks to young worker resources from WorkSafeBC.
This is the opposite of the idea that young workers tend to be “…unprepared for the workplace [and] lack the training they need to keep themselves safe,” as they are described in this North Shore News article Ensure teen knows workplace safety.
“They believe they are invincible and will not be hurt; they’re inexperienced, are unaware of their rights on the job, they lack confidence and they’re afraid to ask questions,” reads the piece by columnist Kathy Lynn – a reminder for parents. Every parent should take the time to ensure that young people do know their rights – and which questions they should ask at job interviews and on the job – but it seems that a sense of invincibility may not be the real issue.
According to a WorkSafeBC focus report on young worker safety:
There is a popular misconception that young workers incur many injuries at work because of their risk-taking behaviour and sense of invincibility. Today, researchers believe young workers are more at risk because they lack the experience of their peers, they often work in environments with more hazards, and they frequently engage in more physical work than their older counterparts. Some may not have the training and orientation needed to work safely.
Attitude and training are two separate issues – and sometimes I wonder if we don’t place too much emphasis on the attitudes of youth. Youth can show up with a good attitude – but a lot depends on the training they get on arrival, which is the responsibility of the employer and supervisor.
The video contest theme was “It’s Your Job: What do you need to make it fair and safe?.” Congratulations to all who took part and thanks for helping to spread the word on safety.