Hazardous Work Restrictions for Youth in British Columbia

Effective January 1, 2023, the Employment Standards Regulation will prescribe minimum ages for certain types of work that is too hazardous for younger workers in B.C.

Employees must be a minimum age of 16 years to undertake the following activities:

  • construction
  • silviculture
  • forest fighting
  • working from heights that require fall protection

Employees must be minimum age of 18 year to undertake the following activities:

  • tree falling and logging
  • using a chainsaw
  • work in 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 electrical hazards 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 workers is or may be exposed to potentially harmful levels of asbestos
  • exposure to harmful levels of radiation
  • working in a confined space or underground workings
  • work requiring a respirator

Recognizing the importance of apprenticeships and training programs, these age restrictions will not apply to industry training programs overseen by SkilledTradesBC. Current employees who will reach the prescribed age requirements by April 1, 2023 will be excluded from the requirements.

If you have any questions regarding the impact of these changes on your workplace, please contact a member of our labour and employment team.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.