Making a Small Investment in your Child’s Workplace Health and Safety

Your working kid is enjoying their job and the prospect of having it each summer as they complete their post secondary education. You’re proud of their independent spirit, not to mention their desire to shoulder part of the burden of the high cost of education. There is something that you can do that shows you care about their workplace safety.

Most jobs of a physical nature require personal protective equipment or PPE. The range of PPE includes hearing protection, eye protection and proper footwear. Sadly, every year young workers suffer serious injuries due a lack of PPE and sometimes PPE that is improperly fitting or of an inferior quality. This is where you can help.

Take a close look. Are they going off to their job mowing lawns wearing a pair of sneakers? If they do have a job working for a landscaping business or warehouse that does not prioritize health and safety, they are very much at risk.

Ask them. Start the conversation by expressing your curiosity about what their day to day tasks are on the job. Enquire about the equipment they use. Get a sense of any environmental factors like noise, dust and sunlight.

At this point, feel comfortable about raising the topic of PPE. Are any of the other people on the job working with gas powered mowers and tillers wearing steel toed boots? You may hear that the older full time people wear them. Ask them why? Discuss the potential for injury and the possibility of long term disability.

Discuss a solution. CSA approved safety boots come in a range of prices and have been tested for their effectiveness. They are also generally very durable. For a summer worker, they could likely last numerous seasons.

Finally, discuss purchasing them. It could be a wonderful gift that keeps on giving or a fifty/fifty proposition where they pay half – nothing like a little skin in the game to make someone appreciate something.

Whatever the arrangement, enabling them to be more mindful of their personal safety and the skills to take action is the biggest gift of all.

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