Making Your Work Site New and Young Worker Safe

Source : CarbonNYC

Young workers are particularly vulnerable to safety issues because of their inexperience and lack of on the job training. Employers need to be aware of new and young workers vulnerability in a workplace as dangerous as a construction site, that includes assessing the risks of the job to these workers and know how to overcome them. Once the proper safety practices have been put in place to protect young workers and they are being adequately supervised, employers should continue to monitor and assess these practices. Any unsafe practices should be corrected immediately. Also supervisors should be available to respond to workers enquiries should they have any.

Communicating with young workers about health and safety on construction sites is vital. Not only will this have immediate benefits for their safety but will also positively impact their attitude, skills and behaviour on site. That is why it is best to foster an attitude of open discussion and questions. Let young and new workers know that your door is always open to answer an questions they may have about safety.

It is also important that employers provide workers with a safe and healthy environment as per legal requirements. The employer must also ensure that workers are appropriately trained, informed and capable of carry out the tasks expected of them. Safety training is a pre-requisite for any construction worker and no worker should be allowed to work on a construction site without general safety induction training. Equipping young workers with the necessary knowledge to do their job is vital to their safety. Also do not expect them to carry out dangerous or unfamiliar tasks without the appropriate supervision. Whether workers are new or experienced, contract or permanent, whatever the terms of their employment employers must ensure they are provided with a safe work environment, the appropriate training and PPE required for the job.

Some of the hazards that workers must protect workers from includes both physical and psychological workplace hazards, such as slippery floors, heavy loads, unguarded machinery and equipment, faulty equipment, chemicals, bullying, violence and fatigue.

All workers, not only young ones should be trained on general construction site safety as well as site specific training to familiarize workers with the appropriate safety measures to combat hazards specific to the site. Proper induction and training is important for demonstrating and reinforcing sound and safe work practices for young and inexperienced workers.

The level of training young workers should receive is dependent on the workers level of industry experience, skills, abilities and hazards present.

There have been a large number of workers injured and even killed because of their inexperience even though they had undergone safety training. That is why it is important that before a young person begins work the employer should identify the gaps in their knowledge and assess their ability to work safely. They should also test workers competency before allowing them onto the work site. Employers should not take for granted that the worker is sufficiently competent to successfully perform the tasks they are being asked to undertake because this is how the majority of accidents involving young and new workers happen.

Remember:  Construction site safety starts with getting a White Card Рyou can get yours from

Posted by Construction Safety News Admin
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