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Are Young Calgary Workers at Extra Risk for Injury?

Posted in: Blog // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
September 14, 2015

As reported by the CBC, a new report by the Parkland Institute suggests that up to 70% of part-time teenage workers in Alberta may be doing unsafe work—and some of it may even be illegal.

Calgary employers offer plenty of part-time positions to young students eager to earn some spending money or to start saving for school, and this report has serious implications for the conditions these youngsters might face.

“Like all jurisdictions, Alberta recognizes that young workers are more vulnerable than other employees, and has put in place specific regulations to protect them,” said Bob Barnetson, the labour relations professor at Athabasca University who led the study.

“The problem is that the rules are frequently ignored by employers, and the complaints-driven enforcement system is failing to adequately protect teens from illegal and unsafe work.”

Unsafe conditions greatly increase the chance for a workplace injury to occur, and while the Worker’s Compensation Board covers the cost of most injuries, the fact that many employers aren’t enforcing proper safety rules could leave them open to additional liability.

Not only is using young employees to complete unsafe tasks ethically repugnant, it creates a serious financial risk for the employers who choose to conduct themselves in this manner.

If you’ve been seriously injured as a result of unsafe conditions at your place of work and would like to discuss your case with a dedicated Calgary personal injury lawyer, please contact our office today.

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