Every year more than 4,400 workers aged between 15 and 24 years are seriously injured at work, often within the first six months of starting a new job.
It’s a common misconception that managing young worker safety is the same as managing other groups of workers. Young workers have a unique risk profile and understanding this is the responsibility of frontline supervisors and managers all the way up to the company directors. This risk profile applies irrespective of the young workers’ employment status (work experience, casual, sub-contractor, apprentice, trainee, etc).
The first step to improving young worker safety is to understand why they have a unique risk profile.
Most young people, particularly those just recently out of school, have little or no work experience and their life experience and interactions with adults in the workplace is limited at best. They learn by watching others, so it’s important those who supervise young workers understand this.
Are young workers in your workplace encouraged to ask questions? Do supervisors and managers use the ‘tell me, show me, watch me’ approach? How do your young workers know what to prioritise when confronted with multiple tasks?
For practical resources to get your workplace talking about young worker safety and tips to engage young workers, check out our young workers toolkit (PDF, 4223.94 KB).