Once again, it’s the time of year to turn our attention to one of the most vulnerable groups in the workplace—young workers (age 25 and younger). Over the summer and into the fall, many companies see a sudden influx of young workers. And some companies may tend to have a younger workforce all of the time.
For example, we recently asked what percentage of your workforce consists of young workers—the results:
- 56% said 0-20% of the workforce were young workers
- 22% said 21-40%
- 11% said 81-100%
- 7% said 61-80%
- 4% said 41-60%.
These results indicate that a lot of you have some—and even many—young workers on staff. And you can’t treat them the same way you’d treat older workers. Why?
First, it’s estimated that young workers are five times more likely to get injured in the first four weeks on the job than their more senior co-workers.
Second, many jurisdictions are focusing on young workers. For example, the Dean Commission in Ontario specifically noted that young workers are a particularly vulnerable group in need of special protections. In fact, on May 1, Ontario launched an inspection blitz targeting young workers. And Alberta has held similar blitzes in the past.
How to Protect Young Workers
Although your young workers may be vulnerable to injury, the OHS Insider has tools that can help you better protect them, including:
- 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
- A young worker orientation checklist you can download and use to create a young worker safety training program
- An example of how one workplace improved its young worker training program
- An infographic on new and young workers you can display in your workplace.
For more information on young—and other vulnerable—workers, click here to download a special report from the OHS Insider.