Does your business hire young workers on a regular or seasonal basis or have you recently had new hires? Ministry of Labour Inspectors are visiting Ontario workplaces between May 1 and August 31, 2013 focusing on the safety of young and new workers.

Young workers are aged 14 to 24. New workers are those who have been on the job for less than 6 months or existing workers assigned to a new job in the same workplace. New workers include both young workers and those 25 and older.

The Ministry will place special emphasis on employers in service industries, manufacturing, transportation, farming operations, logging, hotels, motels, film and television. In the health care sector, inspectors will focus on community care services and community care residences.

Each year young workers are injured. Many of those injured are employed as labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities, as well as retail salespeople, food counter attendants and kitchen helpers.

The blitz is part of Safe at Work Ontario which is an enforcement initiative with the goal of preventing injuries and deaths. The Ministry of Labour is looking for non-compliance involving new and young workers, including failure of employers to inform, instruct, supervise workers and comply with minimum age requirements. In addition, inspectors will check the internal responsibility requirements are in place such as a written occupational health and safety policy, a workplace Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) or health and safety representatives are appointed and JHSC meetings and workplace inspections take place.