Protecting Young Workers in Retail Jobs
Sheila Pantry OBE
June 2016 was the US National Safety Month, so it is an appropriate time to focus worldwide on young workers, as they head out of school and into the workforce. Many of them will find jobs in the retail industry, a leading employer of young workers in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
In 2014, there were approximately 18.1 million workers younger than age 24 in the U.S. These workers represented 13% of the U.S. workforce. Young workers have high workplace injury rates, explained in part by the high frequency of hazards in their typical workplaces. In retail work settings, for instance, slippery floors and use of knives and energized equipment are common hazards. Inexperience and lack of safety training also increase injury risks for young workers. The youngest – those in middle and high schools – may have physical and psychosocial limitations that lead to higher injury rates.
In the USA in 2014, about 23,000 (1 of every 4) young retail workers were injured in a retail job. The rate of emergency department-treated workplace injuries was found to be about two times higher for young workers than for workers 25 years and older.
To address their increased risk for work-related injury, NIOSH developed a new web page for young retail workers. This webpage includes safety tips for recognizing hazards and understanding the injuries they can cause, such as being struck by or stuck in an object or equipment; doing too much (overexertion); slips, trips, and falls; driving or riding incidents on the road; and workplace violence. Remember, what you know can keep you safe and healthy at work.
Look at OSH UPDATE + FIRE where employees, employers and safety and health professionals will find many examples of advice and guidance for young worker entering all industries. The information covers all aspects occupational safety and health research, practice, prevention activities, good practices, information, guidance and advice, research reports, leaflets and much more in OSH UPDATE + FIRE www.oshupdate.com – which is considered by many the be THE key tool to all your health, safety and fire information requirements
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