The province is setting in motion new regulations regarding the types of work that are not suitable for youth workers.
The new regulations come into effect on Sunday, January 1st.
According to WorkSafeBC, between 2012 and 2021 more than $26.4 million was paid out in job-related disability claims for workers who were aged 16 to 18-years-old.
BC has held consultations with members of the public and stakeholders to present analysis of workplace injury data and have identified a number of jobs that are being deemed too hazardous for young workers.
BC previously announced the amendments to the Employment Standards Regulation in October.
Primarily the jobs deemed too dangerous are in construction, forestry, food processing, oil and gas and power, and asbestos removal.
The province will now require young workers to be at least 18-years-old to work in logging, using a smelter, oil drilling or anywhere there may be risk of exposure to harmful materials.
A minimum age requirement of 16-years-old has been applied broadly to the construction industry, fish processing plants and some other animal work.
BC has stipulated that to ensure youth will still have access to industry apprenticeship and training programs through SkilledTradesBC, age restrictions will not apply to these situations.
Specifically, a minimum age of 16-years-old is required to undertake the following activities:
- forest firefighting
- working from heights that require fall protection
A minimum age of 18-years-old is now required to undertake the following employment activities:
- tree falling and logging
- using a chainsaw
- work in a production process at a pulp, paper, saw, shake or shingle mill
- work in a production process at a foundry, metal processing or metal fabrication operation, refinery or smelter
- powerline construction or maintenance where an electrical hazard exists
- oil or gas field servicing and drilling
- work with dangerous equipment in fish, meat or poultry processing facilities
- silica process/exposure to silica dust
- work in which a worker is or may be exposed to potentially harmful levels of asbestos
- exposure to harmful levels radiation
- working in a confined space or underground workings
- work requiring a respirator
The province says that with an effective date of January 1st, 2023, employers have been provided ample time to adjust the work performed by existing young employees.