A total of 30 young workers aged 15-24 died as a result of work-related accidents between 2012 and 2016, and the numbers are yet to drop. Inexperience is often blamed for this, with younger workers simply having less experience in dealing with workplace hazards. As a result, here we offer you 5 tips for protecting your younger workers from hazards.
1. Assess the risk of violence in the workplace
It is essential to have policies and programs in place for violence and similar forms of harassment. This is pretty basic and common sense stuff, stating that employees should immediately report any threats or violent incidents to management as soon as possible. If you have to fire someone who is being violent or threatening, then so be it – your workplace will be better off as a whole.
2. Conduct basic health and safety training
According to most legal systems, employees must receive at least basic health and safety training before they can work legally. The training may vary according to your industry, but it should be given nonetheless. For example, workers in the food industry may have to undergo training in using kitchen knives and cooking food safely.
3. Organize hands-on training
The easiest way to impart health and safety knowledge is to show your employees hands-on. Give your young employees demonstrations on how to load/unload materials, handle materials, and use heavy machinery.
4. Display health and safety documents
Display both federal and state-level healthy and safety documents in a common area (such as the canteen) where employees are able to observe the documents and peruse them at their leisure. Informative posters about workplace safety are also valuable, especially if they are memorable and well-designed.
5. Maintain good equipment and machinery
The machinery and equipment used by your workforce should be well-maintained and in good condition, making sure that your employees are working with equipment that is safe and fit for purpose. Regular maintenance and equipment checks are the easiest way to ensure this, and any faulty equipment should be replaced or fixed as soon as a problem is found. One of the most common causes of injuries, for example, is faulty electrical equipment, despite being incredibly easy to prevent with a little regular maintenance.
Although all industries have their workplace hazards, young people are particularly vulnerable when working in the retail, tourism, hospitality, restaurant, and recreational services industries. These industries all pose unique threats to the safety of young workers, in addition to general hazards such as slips, trips, and falls. Whatever industry young people find themselves in, many workplace accidents can be avoided with the proper training and preventive measures in place.
Looking to make your business a safer place to work for young people? We deal with these cases all the time, giving us limitless experience. Contact us today for more information on young peoples’ safety in the workplace and how it may affect your company.