British Columbia’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. Amendments to British Columbia’s Employment Standards Regulation take effect on Jan. 1, as the province aims to increase safety for young workers.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

B.C. sets age limits to boost safety for young workers in hazardous jobs

New rules will require a minimum age of 18 to work as a logger or in smelters and oil drilling

Amendments to British Columbia’s Employment Standards Regulation take effect on Jan. 1, as the province aims to increase safety for young workers.

A statement from the Ministry of Labour says the regulations set out minimum ages for certain types of employment.

New rules will require a minimum age of 18 to work as a logger or in smelters, oil drilling or anywhere there is a risk of exposure to certain harmful materials.

Workers must be at least 16 to be employed in construction, fish processing and some animal processing work.

The ministry says age restrictions do not apply to industry training programs overseen by SkilledTradesBC, and employees who reach the minimum age by April 1, 2023, are also excluded.

The statement says the amendments were announced in October after consultations with business and the public determined that jobs in several industries are too hazardous for young workers.

Statistics provided by the ministry show the average annual injury rate in B.C. is 2.2 per 100 workers, but tree fallers and buckers have an injury rate of almost 20 per 100 workers, the rate of injuries in abattoirs is 15.7 and nearly eight of every 100 framers in construction are hurt on the job every year.

The Canadian Press

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