Assignment 6 - Workplace Safety (due Week 12)

Every workplace has its share of injuries. Sometimes the occupation is a risky one that carries risks of falling, cuts or burns on a daily basis. Sometimes the occupation doesn't really seem risky, but mistakes can happen that can cause mild to severe injury.

Young workers can be at risk of injury because of many reasons. Here are some reasons that explain why young workers are at a greater risk for injury at their job:

  • Lack of training and work experience - A teen might not have received the proper amount of training or reminders about how to use dangerous equipment.
  • Lack of confidence or understanding of their rights as workers - Teens may not feel that they can report an unsafe work condition to their employer or request additional training, even though that is their right as an employee.
  • Lack of preparation for the workplace - Teens need to be trained to work differently than adults. They will have to be taught differently and maybe reminded more often, but employers are sometimes not the best teachers.
  • Being given more dangerous jobs - Teens are younger and more agile, usually, than adults, so they may be asked to do more physically demanding tasks because they are young.
  • Feeling of invincibility - A teen may think "I can do that because nothing bad will happen to me."
  • Unwillingness to ask questions - Sometimes teens don't want to ask their employer questions because they're afraid of looking dumb and possibly being fired.
  • Being distracted or having other things on their mind - Teens have lots of things going on in their lives and sometimes they may be thinking about friends, school, family problems, etc. while they are supposed to be working. This could distract them from being safe on the job.
  • Pace of work - The pace of work could be too fast for a teen to keep up with and then mistakes happen because they are trying too hard to keep up.

Here is a list of the Top 8 Dangers for 15-19 year olds. This list was put together by Alberta Occupational Health & Safety after analyzing the statistics of workplace injuries reported from 2003 to 2007.

  1. Lifting objects (Injury Risks: sprains, strains)
  2. Working with hot substances or objects (Injury Risks: burns)
  3. Working with machinery (Injury Risks: open wounds, finger/toe amputations)
  4. Falling on same level, aka tripping hazard (Injury Risks: sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations)
  5. Working with knives or food slicers (Injury Risks: cuts, finger amputations)
  6. Falling from height (Injury Risks: sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations)
  7. Using skids, pallets, and jacks (Injury Risks: sprains, strains, surface wounds, bruises, foot injuries)
  8. Working with saws (Injury Risks: cuts, open wounds, digit/limb amputations)

Workplace Safety Assignment

Listed below are some common jobs that a teen might have. For each job: list 3 risks that are involved in that job that could cause injury, and list 3 steps the teen employee could take to ensure they stay safe at their job.

You can use this website as a resource. It includes videos (warning: some of them show graphic injury re-enactments) and real statistics and stories about teen employees in Alberta.

http://work.alberta.ca/occupational-health-safety/bloodylucky.html

Job:  Farm Hand

Three on-the-job Risks

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Three Ways to Stay Safe

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Job:  Retail Store Clerk

Three on-the-job Risks

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Three Ways to Stay Safe

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Job:  Restaurant Line Cook

Three on-the-job Risks

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Three Ways to Stay Safe

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Job:  Gas Station Attendant

Three on-the-job Risks

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Three Ways to Stay Safe

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