Death of Worker on First Day Shows Vulnerability of New Workers
There have been numerous studies and are plenty of statistics out there that show that new workers are more vulnerable to being hurt or killed on the job than other segments of the workforce and so need extra attention. But sometimes abstract studies and stats aren’t enough to really drive this message home.
Here’s a tragic example from Great Britain of just how vulnerable new workers can be.
A recycling company was fined £180,000 ($325,725 CD) after a worker was killed on his first day at work.
The 29-year-old worker was using a forklift when the vehicle overturned, crushing him to death. He’d been hired on a temporary four-day contract and was just a few hours into his first day when the incident happened.
An investigation of the incident by the Health and Safety Executive found that forklift truck drivers regularly had to work in an area that was often covered in waste materials, which prevented them from turning the vehicles safely. In addition, the worker wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and there was no company policy in place to ensure seatbelts were worn.
New Worker Resources
The OHS Insider’s New & Young Worker Compliance Centre has resources that can help you better protect these vulnerable workers, including:
- 7 safety tips for new and young workers
- Why you should ID new workers so that co-workers will know who they are
- A young worker orientation checklist you can download and use to create a young worker safety training program
- An infographic on new and young workers you can display in your workplace
- An article explaining the legal protections for young workers and how to comply with them
- Recorded webinars on young worker safety training and how to effectively provide safety training to “generation Y” workers
- An example of how one workplace improved its young worker training program.