July 4, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

Complete Canadian News World

11-year-old work accident victims

In Quebec, 149 minors under the age of 16 will be affected by work accidents by 2020, according to the Commission responsible for enforcing labor laws. The youngest is just 11 years old, educated Press.

Released at 6:00 p.m.

Michael Arsenal
Special collaboration

This emerges from the request for access to information from the Commission on Standards, Equity, Health and Occupational Safety (CNESST), which states that the number of children under the age of 11 is less than five. However, the Commission refuses to disclose the age of the youngest Quebec who lost his life in his workplace in 2020. By demanding the protection of personal information, it restricts itself to claiming that he is “under 20”.

Susan Arbin, vice chair of the Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission, said: “It is worrying that 11-year-olds are working and getting injured at work. This raises all sorts of questions: Are they being exploited by their parents or by their employer? Was their workplace safe? I am shocked though it is legal. ⁇

Quebec is the only Canadian province with no minimum age for child labor. However, children under the age of 14 must obtain parental permission.

The Labor Standards Act An employer cannot ask children to do work that is harmful to their health, but this will not prevent them from injuring themselves. What is the main cause of injuries in children under 16? Falling equipment, tools or machinery.

Among adolescents, the actual number of victims may be significantly higher than 149. One study shows that one-third of accidents that are not already at work are reported to the CNESST, recalls the director of the center, Elise Ledox. Expert in sectoral research on wellness, health, community and the environment at UQAM.

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Many young people have never heard of CNESST. This is the case of 15-year-old Gabriel *, who started working at the age of 13 in a supermarket in Mont-Laurier. He was a bakery clerk who had already taken baking sheets from the oven and set them on fire. He showed the injury to colleagues for the first time. “It’s normal, they told me it happened to them,” he recalled.

It is difficult to know exactly how many children under the age of 16 work during the school year. In 2016-2017, even before the labor shortage, a survey of youth health in high school showed that more than half were already employed. In 2014, a study found that 48% of 12-14 year olds in three regions (Québec, Saguenay-Lac Saint-Jean, Laurentides) were aged. Of the latter, one in five worked more than 20 hours a week.

Jobs with responsibilities

Teenagers are not satisfied with playground work. Their responsibilities are sometimes important. At age 15, Gabriel was responsible for all the production in the bakery industry of a supermarket. He had 49 hours of “week”: 25 hours in high school and 24 hours in the supermarket.

It is not surprising that fast food chains, which have been hit hard by labor shortages, are crushing their hands. At McDonald’s Porte-du-Nord service area, on Highway 15 near Saint-Jérôme, a sign calls customers with children: Working on fast food “will help your child be employed in his or her future life,” as far as we can. Some companies in the chain have been recruiting since the age of 13. “McDonald’s employers comply with labor standards and minimum labor requirements under laws established by provincial governments, including Quebec,” McDonald’s Canada answered our questions.

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When it comes to the health and safety of minors at work, sexual offenses are rarely mentioned because the police do not classify complaints of harassment and sexual harassment based on the location of the crime. In Estri, the Center for Assistance and Fighting Sexual Assault (CALACS) has been with three maids and three maids who have been assaulted in their respective restaurants since 2020.

“Personally, I do not send my children to work until they are 16, that is, the age of sexual consent,” says Kelly Larami, a CALACS employee in Sherbrook. From that age on, young people can easily quit their jobs if faced with an unacceptable situation. ⁇

* The baby’s first name has been changed to protect the baby’s identity.

Learn more

  • 16 years old
    Minimum age to work in British Columbia from 2021. Exceptions are made for small work from the age of 14 or for family businesses from the age of 12.

    Source: Government of British Columbia