British Columbians are invited to provide feedback on what types of work are too hazardous to be done by youth under age 16, and in some cases, under 19.
The Province has launched a consultation site where stakeholders and the public can review and comment on a proposed framework that outlines the types of jobs that could be defined as hazardous and unsuitable for young workers. The consultation can be accessed through government’s engagement site at: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc
In developing the proposed framework, ministry staff examined WorkSafeBC injury data and other jurisdictions’ labour laws relating to hazardous employment. Based on that information, a number of industries have been identified, and are being considered for B.C.’s hazardous work regulation for young people. These include areas within: construction, forestry, food processing, oil/gas and power, asbestos abatement and others.
This is the next phase of the work the Ministry of Labour has undertaken to protect the health and safety of working children and youth, and to bring B.C. in line with international child employment standards and other Canadian jurisdictions.
Last year, new rules came into effect that raised the general minimum working age from 12 to 16, and identified what jobs are considered ”light work” suitable for youth aged 14 to 15, with parental permission. The new rules do not prevent children from babysitting or delivering newspapers part-time, or students from working in a work-study or work experience class which are among the jobs excluded from these rules.
The engagement materials are being translated into traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Punjabi and French, and will be available soon.
- Between 2012 and 2021, WorkSafeBC data revealed more than $26.4 million was paid out in job-related disability claims for workers who were aged 16 to under-19 at the time of the injury.
- In B.C. the average annual injury rate is 2.1 per 100 workers, but some jobs have much higher injury rates. For example:
- framers in the construction industry have an injury rate of 7.8 per 100 workers;
- workers in abattoirs have an injury rate of 15.7; and
- manual tree fallers/buckers have an injury rate of almost 20 per 100 workers