While most would like to kick back and spend their summers at home, the reality is most teenagers and young adults will be entering the work force in full or part time positions. This may be their first job or apprenticeship; some may have just finished their educationAustralia’s workforce is made up of more than 60% young workers, ages 15-24, across various industries.  This cluster embodies energy, adds fresh perspective and modern concepts to the workplace.  

With the soaring percentage of eager young workers, it is important they are aware of the risk associated with employment and how they can prepare for a safe and long-lasting career in their chosen field.  However, they tend to have reduced risk perception, which makes them unlikely to ask for help or assistance, or perhaps even raise concerns about risks that may eventually lead to an injury or accident.  The same age group is likely to overestimate their capabilities when it comes to complex tasks. 

Why do young workers have a specific risk profile? No matter their age, all workers are at risk of an injury in unsafe working conditions. Yet for youth in the workplace, several factorcontribute to and make up their risk checklist such as: 

  • Lack of understanding what the job entails and taking risks in making changes to the task at hand. 
  • Their reluctance in speaking up due to fear of appearing incompetent. 
  • A sense of desire to impress the superior or colleagues to fit in and mirror workplace practices regardless of whether they are right or wrong.  
  • Distraction by being too pre-occupied with either work-related or non-related things. 
  • Pace of handling tasks, in regard to accomplishing more in the quickest time possible to the expense of quality of work and safety.  

Employers have been prosecuted and fined for being negligent in providing proper training and supervision of young workers where the injury and death of some workers in the workplace has occurred.  workers must be trained for emergencies in the workplace. They need to be fully aware of the workplace emergency management and response procedures along with task specific practices.  They must also develop a familiarity with the workplace to know where emergency resources are located. Some industries operate a buddy system so young staff are supervised until they can carry out their task on their own efficiently and safely.  In general, the hazards facing young workers are no different to those facing their older colleagues. The risks, however, can be accentuated due to the abovementioned factors.  

Workplace Emergency Management can help you develop emergency response plans, run evacuation drills, and provide the necessary training to prepare everyone in your workplace as safe as possible during all types of emergency situations.   

Message us or call our office today at 02-8883-1694 to speak to our very accommodating staff. 

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