Young worker rights and responsibilities
Know how to keep the workplace safe and healthy for you, others you work with and your employer.
Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation is the law that helps protect your health and safety at work. You have three basic rights:
- the right to refuse dangerous work and know that you’re protected from reprisal
- the right to know about workplace hazards and have access to basic health and safety information
- the right to participate in health and safety discussions and health and safety committees
As a worker you need to:
- refuse dangerous work
- report unsafe work practices
- follow health and safety procedures
- refrain from harassment or violence in the workplace
- ask for training if you don't know how to do something
- work safely and encourage others to as well
- use required safety equipment and clothing
- inform your supervisor if you have anything going on that could affect your ability to work safely
Protect yourself and others
Your employer must make sure you have the training and the skills to do your work safely. If you're still learning, you must be under direct supervision of someone with these skills. Before taking on a job by yourself, make sure you have the necessary skills to get it done safely.
Emergency training and equipment
- Your employer must train you in emergency procedures – in the case of fire, chemical spills, etc.
- Special training is required before working with chemicals.
- Your employer must show you where and how to use fire extinguishers and other emergency equipment.
- Get first aid: If you’re injured, find someone to give you first aid immediately.
- Report the incident: Even if you think your injury is small or no big deal, it’s important to report it. Telling your employer will help them improve workplace health and safety practices.
If you have a health or safety question, the first person to ask is your supervisor or employer because they know your workplace best.
You can also contact OHS. It’s free and confidential.
Youth employment laws
The Employment Standards rules apply to employees of all ages with special restrictions for young workers for your protection.
Know the law before you begin working to protect your rights.
- My Health and Safety Questions
- OHS Laws
- Occupational Health and Safety Act – Worker's Guide
- X-Treme Safety: A Survival Guide for New and Young Workers
- "What If…" interactive OHS eLearning program
- Worker participation in health and safety (PDF, 284 KB)
To connect with OHS: