Alberta Occupational Health and Safety is investigating the teen’s death and says Lawrence was old enough to work at the site. “So under the law, a young person is defined as someone who is 15, 16 or 17 years old and these young people or young workers are allowed to work any type of job as long as it is not between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.,” said Kim Misik, OHS spokesperson. Misik says the young workers are allowed to work in the construction industry and at gravel pit operations and that the same training and safety is expected regardless of age. “Our investigators are on-scene and will be looking at a number of different areas including hazard assessment, equipment, and training offered,” said Misik. Kristina Kinder says Lawrence had only been at the job for about six weeks and was planning on quitting soon to take a job closer to home. “After this weekend, he was going to quit and he was going to come home because he hated being away. We were going to find a new job for him because he hated it,” said Kinder. Darryl Weibe, Manager of Arjon Construction, says this is the first incident the company has had in 40 years of operation and says the company has sent a counsellor to the site to help employees deal with their grief. The Alberta Federation of Labour responded to the teen’s death and says the province’s adolescent labour laws are among the worst in the country. “Alberta’s child labour laws are among the most lax in Canada,” says Siobhan Vipond, AFL Secretary Treasurer.
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