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B.C. wants to know which jobs are too dangerous for young workers

The province is seeking feedback on a framework that would regulate minimum ages for dangerous work
B.C. is developing a framework to prohibit youth under age 19 from working “hazardous jobs”. (Black Press file photo)

What kinds of work are too hazardous for young people?

That’s a question the B.C. government is looking to answer as they develop a framework for the health and safety of youth in the workplace. This comes after the province raised the minimum working age to 16, up from 12 and identified “light work” jobs that are suitable for youth aged 14 to 15.

The province analyzed data from WorkSafeBC to determine which jobs are too hazardous for youth under 19. They found that between 2012 and 2021, more than $26.4 million was paid in job-related disability claims for workers aged 16 to 19.

Areas like construction, forestry, food processing, oil and gas, power, and asbestos abatement were all identified as hazardous fields that may be prohibited under B.C.’s hazardous work regulation for young people.

As the province works to develop regulations, they want to hear from the public about what kinds of work are unsuitable for youth. An online survey is open until June 10 for British Columbians to provide feedback on the proposed regulations.

If they go ahead, employers would be prohibited from hiring a person below the minimum age specified for that particular job. The province said these regulations will “bring B.C. in line” with international child employment standards.

READ MORE: B.C.’s minimum working age going from 12 to 16


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