How to Protect Young and New Workers – Safe Talk by Kim Neddo

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How to Protect Young and New Workers – Safe Talk by Kim Neddo

Over the last few years, many baby boomers have exited the workforce, creating a significant shortage of workers. Senior economists have stated that retirements are the single biggest factor contributing to the labor shortage in Canada. This has left many companies scrambling to find workers to replace those retiring.

Enter the young and new workers! This is excellent as they bring new ideas and talent to the workplace but can also be a challenge for employers to ensure their health and safety, especially in some of our more rugged work sites, including construction, transportation, and oilfield industries. Often, the work is hard, and hours are long resulting in a higher level of risk on these worksites.

What does this mean to you the employer? Simply put, companies need proper safety protocols and here are some key recommendations:

Training and Education

  • Implement orientation and training programs that are developed to address job duties, hazards, and controls.
  • Provide mentoring and hands-on training for new hires by skilled & competent workers
  • Evaluate new workers competency to ensure they have the proper skills to perform their jobs safely.

Risk Assessment and Management

  • Train workers on the importance of the formal hazard assessments and how they apply to their jobs and overall safety.
  • Make sure site-specific hazard assessments are being conducted before each job to ensure all potential risks are identified.
  • Make sure proper controls are being used and in place and train workers on the use of engineering, administrative and PPE controls.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Make sure workers have access to and are trained on how to care, use, and maintain their PPE. AND, makes sure workers understand the limitations of the PPE they are using.

Safety Culture

  • Build a good culture that supports and encourages open communication so workers are comfortable reporting safety concerns and recommending improvements.
  • Foster a safety culture where workers hold themselves accountable for their own safety and the safety of their co-workers.

Regulatory Compliance

  • Stay updated on current legislation and ensure your workplace complies with the relevant laws and standards.


Your program is in place and your management team is engaged! You are on the right path to welcome young and new workers into your workforce and to keep them safe.


By implementing these safety protocols and fostering a strong safety culture you will be investing in your business future by providing a safe and inviting workplace to both current and perspective employees.