There are countless benefits associated with working as an apprentice in the skilled trades industry: the opportunity to learn a trade from a qualified and established mentor; beginning a career in an in-demand field; and earning a paycheque while you learn, to name a few. However, working as an apprentice means that you are new, and vulnerable to injury and illness on site.
Here are our tips on how to remain safe on the job site as an apprentice:
The Institute for Work & Health reports that only 1 out of 5 new workers receives safety training. Employers are required to provide workers with appropriate safety training. Ensure that you understand your rights as an employee and that you comply with all safety regulations (including local legislation, polices and procedures, safe work practices, and job safety hazards).
Due to the fact that new workers (and apprentices) are unfamiliar with worksites and are less experienced than established workers, they are less likely to have the appropriate knowledge to safely complete tasks. Before commencing work, ensure that you know the following:
- All potential safety hazards
- What is expected of you as a worker
- Appropriate procedures to safely complete task
Participate in daily toolbox talks and hands-on training opportunities. Use your apprenticeship to learn how to safely complete tasks from your mentor. As you gain experience and knowledge (including how to safely complete tasks), the risk of being injured at the job site is reduced.
Ask for Help
If you are unsure about how to safely complete a task, do not proceed! Speak to your mentor, or fellow experienced worker to gain insight, perspective, and advice.