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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd


Focus Archive

Keeping young workers, safe and healthy

August 2014

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 is not just accidents that young workers are vulnerable to – they are also at risk from more slowly-developing occupational health problems.

Likewise when introducing young people to the world of work during their work experience sessions can help them understand the work environment, choose future careers or prepare for employment. So it is important that young people need to be offered opportunities to develop new skills and gain experience across the world of work.

So despite the worldwide recession there will be many young people just starting work for the first time across all industries and services and they must be trained to be able to avoid accidents and long-term ill health.

Organisations deal with occupational safety and health (OSH) in different ways: some organisations have little expertise in OSH and react to problems such as occupational accidents, work-related diseases and absenteeism in an ad hoc way, whilst others strive to manage OSH more systematically, and even proactively, by implementing OSH into the organisation’s overall management.