Are Young People Safe at your Workplace?
Sheila Pantry OBE
Despite the recession there are many young people at work, or starting work. Young people are especially vulnerable in the workplace. Across Europe, 18-24 year olds are at least 50% more likely to be hurt at work than older people, and young people are also more likely to suffer from an occupational illness says the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.
According to Canadian research, young, inexperienced workers are over five times more likely to be injured during their first four weeks of employment than other workers. And it's not just accidents that young workers are vulnerable to: they are also at risk from more slowly-developing occupational health problems.
So despite the worldwide recession there will be many young people starting work across all industries and services and they must be trained to be able to avoid accidents and ill health. Behind the statistics are individual stories. Young people having to live with the consequences of accidents and illness. Young people dying who had their whole lives ahead of them.
There are many reasons why young workers are at risk. But they are all things that we can do something about we can do something about. Employers, educators, health and safety professionals, policy makers, and young workers themselves - all have a responsibility to help keep young people safe and healthy.
See all the Agency publications on Young People.
It is always good to keep researching and finding out if there are services and other ways of keeping up-to-date in this fast changing world of ours. Time is precious and many people are really stretched in their jobs and find it difficult to keep ahead in current knowledge that they should have for their jobs. But help is at hand for those working in health, safety and fire and fire related industries.
More information on health and safety at work and a wide range of fire information - not only from Europe but from around the World, including advice, guidance, research results and legislation and can be found by checking out OSH UPDATE www.oshupdate.com and also FIREINF www.fireinf.com electronic collection of information sources. Information Seekers will find a wealth of authoritative and validated advice including best practices, case studies, journal articles, reports, legislation, standards and much more.
The electronic services OSH UPDATE and FIREINF will help you and your organisation to keep up-to-date. These services continue to bring you the latest information on health, safety, environment, fire and other subjects that you will find useful in your daily work.
OSH UPDATE and FIREINF services contain both full text and bibliographic information are continuously enlarged as new information is published. These services are used by individuals, organisations, universities, institutions and companies worldwide.
This month's FOCUS is entitled Workplace Health Without Borders. Find out what is happening in this new initiative.
OSHWORLD - your portal to some of the best OSH web sites in the world
Look at the portal OSHWORLD www.oshworld.com and view the latest additions to the Diary of Events where you will see that plans have been for the last two months of 2011 and well into 2012 - see the training courses, symposiums, webinars and conferences in many places in the world on a wide range of subjects. Don't forget to budget for these events - make sure that you and your colleagues are up-to-date with the very latest knowledge - remember that all workplaces and those working in them change, so continue to do your risk assessments.
In these days of tighter budgets perhaps training may be put on the "back-burner" - but think again how you can keep up with the latest techniques and training opportunities.
Remember that even if you cannot attend these many events, speakers and organisers are often willing to share their knowledge. Look at the details - where possible, we add in the web sites of these events so you can request further information. And do let me know if you are organising any OSHE events so that I can add them to the Diary.
It is always good to review health, safety, chemical, fire and environment procedures on a regular basis. It is also important that the practices and systems in the workplace are constantly reviewed and if necessary, improved. This review may also indicate training requirements and updates and re-thinking how systems and services can be improved. This is where the free-of charge OSHWORLD can help you.
Globally there are continually new titles, news items, new products so remember to look at the News to find the latest information from a number of authoritative sources such as the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, the UK Health and Safety Executive and US NIOSH. Use OSHWORLD as your portal to many hundreds of validated and authoritative web sites which you can find in the Country and Subject links we offer. New subject topics are constantly brought together on web sites, e.g. nanotechnology.
Remember to look at the Products and Services on this OSHWORLD web site and see what is new and updated.
Don't work harder - work smarter! Be ahead of the game.
Are you hoping to have a zero accident, incident-free and healthy this year in your workplace? Some would argue that this is not possible! But keep on trying!
And do continue to make plans for your campaigns for the rest of 2011 and for 2012 and beyond!