WorkSafeBC has two campaigns to try to prevent youth workers from injury this year. Listen to Your Gut, is aimed at young workers, and What I Know Now targets their employers. According to WorkSafeBC, more than 32,000 workers aged 15 to 24 were hurt on the job between 2012 and 2016, and of these, 3,600 were injured seriously.
Youth injured on the job may be as young as 12, as children as young as 12 can legally work in nearly any job or industry in BC. Since 2004, BC is the only province that does not place legislative or regulatory restrictions on the occupations, tasks, or time of day a child can work.
First Call’s BC child labour policy framework is a starting place to ensure that work is a positive learning experience for BC’s young people, not a danger with lifelong consequences. The First Call coalition is calling for the provincial government to re-establish a minimum work-start age of 16 years old, which would bring us into compliance with the International Labour Organization of the United Nations.