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Career Fair to offer more than jobs, safety

Diana Forbes | Interrobang | News | February 11th, 2008



Hundreds of students will be roaming throughout the booths at the Career Fair this week looking to secure their future after graduation, but one booth will be offering vital information over employment.

The Young Worker Safety Awareness booth, hosted by Health and Safety Services and London Joint Health and Safety Committee, will be informing new and potential employees of their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.

“We want to get the word out to help students have the confidence and knowledge to be self-advocates in the workplace,” said Kim McCoy, Joint Health and Safety Committee member and Fanshawe Financial Aid employee.

Set amongst employers looking for new graduates and summer staff at the Career and Summer Job Fair 2008 on Wednesday, February 13, the Young Worker Safety Awareness booth will feature a spin wheel of questions and prizes for those who have the right answers.

McCoy explained that the booth will be tailored to students entering new employment, in either summer or full-time positions, as well as those in coops, placements, clinicals or currently in the work-force full or part-time.

She added that new employees aren't always aware of their rights within the workplace, which can lead to dangerous situations.

According to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), 44,473 young workers between the ages of 15 and 24 were injured on the job, while 10 youths suffered fatal injuries, in 2006 in Ontario. The most common injuries amongst youth are sprains, strains (35 per cent), cuts (16 per cent) and bruises (14 per cent), while fingers and lower backs were the most commonly areas of the body effected.

“Students should be aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act,” said McCoy. “They should not be afraid to ask questions, report hazards and follow the safety rules and regulations provided by their employer. Students need to protect themselves and inform their supervisor immediately of any incidents at the workplace.”

And the booth will do just that, arm students with the information they need to know to be successful and stay unharmed on the job.

Committee members and Health and Safety Professionals will be on hand to answer questions and explain the “7 Things You Better Know” set out by Young Worker Safety Awareness Program, which includes:

- What you don't know can hurt you
- What you do know can save your life
- How the law protects
- How the law requires
- What you can expect
- What you must report
- Don't gamble with your health and safety

The Youth Worker Safety Awareness Program is funded by the WSIB and works with many organizations to educate and prevent young worker injuries in the workplace. For more information visit www.youngworker.ca. Other good resources include www.worksmartontario.gov.on.ca, www.iapa.on.ca, www.prevent-it.ca and www.labour.gov.on.ca.
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