There are particular qualities that are associated with young workers and they have a distinctive risk profile. The fact that they are in the process of growing, developing and maturing in all aspects of their life seems to set them apart from older workers and it is thought that their inexperience and increased risk taking tendencies feeds into this part of their profile.
Often as workers age and gain more experience many of these inherent challenges may either reduce or even disappear altogether however there is opportunity to engage young workers in increasing safety rather than waiting for them to gain the needed experience.
This can be done with specialised training that targets young people and addresses their particular behaviours.
For employers and OHS personnel that need to train young people can better reach them if they keep in mind that:
- Young workers may not see risks due to their higher risk thresholds.
- Work tasks need to be given to young people that fits their emotional, physical, intellectual developmental profile.
- Young workers have been raised on different technology and their methods of learning are likely to be different to those of older workers.
- Talking to young workers about OHS considerations will have long term benefits for them as well as the organisation.
If you would like more information about managing young workers see www.worksafe.qld.gov.au