Young workers in the firing line
One in every work-related injury victim is aged 25 or under, according to a new report released by Safe Work Australia.
The Work-related industries experienced by young workers 2009-2010 report found that the injury rate of young workers – the rate of injuries per 1,000 workers – was 18 per cent higher than those aged over 25. This means an injury rate of 66.1 work-related injuries per 1000 young workers compared to 56.2 injuries per 1000 workers aged over 25.
Safe Work Australia’s Chair, Ann Sherry, said that young workers need to understand different safety issues in their workplaces and learn the value of following safety procedures.
“Often in their first jobs, young workers can get caught up with the excitement of entering the workforce. They may overlook the need to be familiar with the potential workplace hazards and safety procedures in place,” Ms Sherry said.
“The statistics in this report show us why it is necessary for young people to learn safe workplace practices and who they should go to for help.
“The safety habits and behaviours they learn now will set them up for positive safe work practices for the remainder of their working lives.”
Key findings from the report include:
- young workers had higher rates of work-related injuries than older workers with the difference between the rates of young and older workers greatest in the manufacturing, accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance and construction industries
- almost two thirds of young workers did not apply for workers’ compensation following their work-related injury with half of these young workers feeling their injury was too minor to warrant lodging a claim
- workers’ compensation data shows one quarter of all compensated injuries incurred by young workers involved the hand, fingers and thumb with young males at particular risk of these injuries, and
- two thirds of young worker traumatic injury fatalities involved a vehicle.
The full report can be found here