Protect Your New Employees


One certain way to protect your recruitment investment is to protect your new workers.

Many HR professionals are aware that younger workers get workplace injuries more often than older workers, and because of that, many HR departments have young worker awareness (YWA) training programs. Many HR professionals, however, are unaware that all new workers are more susceptible to injuries, and not just young workers. In fact, some research states that not only do young workers and new workers get hurt more often, but they get hurt earlier on the job as well.

According to the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA), “New and young workers in Ontario are four times more likely to be injured during the first month of employment than at any other time.”

Four times more likely to get injured in the first four weeks! This is an incredibly alarming statistic, and it is not just applicable to young new workers; it is all new workers that are getting injured at a higher rate (click here to read in greater detail), and HR departments must take notice.

Some jurisdictions are taking note of this safety concern and are addressing it in their provincial Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation, such as in British Columbia, under sections 3.22 to 3.25 of their Workers Compensation Board (WCB) safety regulations, which specifically address what is required for young and new workers’ safety training. Click here to learn more about the safety requirements for young new workers in BC.

Employers are concerned about how hard it is to recruit and retain good employees, but perhaps if employers did more OHS training during employee orientation and on-boarding, they would not be losing their young and new workers in the first month of their employment.

Discussion Questions:

1. Research the OHS legislation in your jurisdiction. Identity if there are any specific laws or regulations regarding the specific training of young and new workers.

2. Review the BC OHS regulations that pertain to young and new workers (click here for link). Review the requirements and develop an outline of a safety orientation program that would meet its legal requirements.