Importance of Protecting Young Workers Proven by Study

A report released by Safe Work Australia a few weeks ago revealed that an alarming percentage of all workplace injuries across Oz involve young workers, under the age of 25.

The report found that one in five injuries that are workplace related happen to young workers, which is why it is so important to protect these new and young workers.

The report entitled “Work-related injuries experienced by young workers 2009-2010” showed that young worker’s injury rate per 1000 workers was during that period, 18 per cent higher than it was for workers over 25 years of age.

An article on detailed the findings of the report:

Ann Sherry AO, the Chair of safe Work Australia, said that it is important for young workers to grasp the different workplace safety issues and to understand the value of safety procedures that are designed to protect them whilst at work.

She said that often young people get caught up with excitement when they get their first job and they may not be aware of the importance of understanding hazards and safety procedures.

As this report clearly indicates young workers require more attention and supervision than more experienced or older workers do. Apprentice and young workers require special attention on a job site because of their inexperience and naivety with regards to safety. New workers are often keen to learn and energetic however it is precisely this eagerness which makes them more likely to suffer injury, and sometimes fatally.

The post goes on to state:

The main findings within the report are:

– There is a higher rate of injury for young people in the workplace

– The rates of injury are the highest in the manufacturing, accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance and construction industries

– Approximately two thirds of young workers did not apply for workers’ compensation after an injury with 50% thinking that the injury was minor and it was not worth claiming

– One quarter of injuries that were compensated were for injuries to the hand, fingers and thumb

– Two thirds of young worker fatalities involving traumatic injury concerned a vehicle

Even apprentices and trainee workers must be in possession of their general safety white card, in fact anyone who engages in work in the construction industry must undergo white card training in order to learn about the hazards presented by construction work and the control measures needed to remain safe on site.

Another important consideration is that young and inexperienced workers are being appropriately supervised especially when engaging in dangerous tasks. Often it is not enough to instruct workers and then expect them to go about conducting dangerous tasks, they need to be supervised especially while they are still familiarizing themselves with the task and with construction work in general.



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