Young workers are great employees; they are eager and keen to work. They may not ask questions though because they have a lot on their minds – school projects, their social lives, their last text message. As a result, they don't always understand why workplace safety is important.
However, research shows that workers under age 25 are more likely to be injured on the job. Young workers and new workers are 5 times more likely to be hurt in the first month than workers who have been in their current job more than 1 year.
Think back to your first day on the job. Remember that young workers don't have a lot of experience. This could be their first job or a completely different job than they had before. Young workers are excited to work, but they are quick to act and take on new projects. Plus, they want you to think they can handle it.
Reduce the Risks of Workplace Injury
Young workers might not speak up about safety concerns. If they feel unsafe, you may not know until it's too late. It's up to you as a supervisor to make sure they feel comfortable talking about safety:
- Point out potential dangers on the job site and how they can stay safe
- Show them how safety equipment and gear works. Make sure they know how to use it and that PPE fits properly.
- Train them on safety rules and work procedures. Ensure safety is a part of all orientation sessions.
- Keep talking about safety – make it part of everyday conversation
- Show how you’re meeting Nova Scotia's OHS and Labour Standards regulations: ensuring training, preventing violence, WHMIS, safely working alone – they’re all the law.
About half of young workers haven't talked about safety with their boss. Make your workplace part of the other half.