Canadian Contractor

Alec Caldwell   

Ontario Ministry of Labour on the lookout for summer students on your jobsite

Canadian Contractor

The MoL has a good reason for monitoring young workers on jobsites. 39 kids (well, workers between the age of 14 to 24) died in work-related accidents between 2006 and 2011. And a staggering 52,000 workers of this age group got injured in that time period.

With the upcoming school summer break just around the corner, some self-employed contractors could well be tempted to bring younger family members along to their job sites. This could be a way of babysitting them or simply to give them work experience for the future.

This week I met two contractors who employed these methods – only to find that watchful neighbors called the Ministry of Labour on them. Ministry inspectors duly stopped by both jobsites and, luckily, the contractors were able to prove they were only looking after their kids not putting them to work – or putting them in harm’s way.

While we all want to help our kids get acquainted with the real world of work, contractors should realize that bringing them onto job sites is an open invitation for the the MoL to show up and inspect other work practices you might not be compliant on, under the Occupational Health & Safety Act, causing prosecution and fines.      

This summer, the Ontario Ministry of Labour has a Safety Blitz, running between May 1 and August 31, 2013, targeting young workers between ages 14 to 24. Ministry of Labour inspectors are visiting workplaces across Ontario, focusing on the safety of new and young workers. Their goal is to prevent injuries and deaths. They say new workers in Ontario are three times more likely to be injured on the job during the first month of employment than at any other time.  

Between 2006 and 2011, 39 young workers died in work-related incidents, according to WSIB statistics. During the same period, more than 52,000 young workers received injuries resulting in lost time at work, according to WSIB. The most common work related injuries involving young workers were sprains and strains.

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