With the summer holidays now under way for thousands of students around the country, the Health and Safety Authority is urging employers to be extra vigilant when it comes to taking on young workers for the summer.
European figures indicate that young people are at least 50 per cent more likely to be hurt at work than older more experienced workers so it’s vital that employers understand the added risk involved with employing teenagers and young inexperienced workers. Furthermore, young people often get jobs in sectors such as hospitality which expose them to a higher risk of workplace injuries.
Employers should: ensure young workers are given the appropriate training and clear instructions; provide any necessary personal protective equipment; closely supervise young workers, especially when undertaking higher risk activities; and encourage young workers to ask questions and raise concerns when they have any.
Young workers should: follow any training and instructions as communicated by the employer; ask questions if in any doubt; get help from a colleague when necessary, eg when lifting something heavy and report any accidents or ‘near misses’ immediately.
It is estimated that, although young people constitute only four per cent of the workforce, injuries to them represent around 10 per cent of all reported injuries. Lots of useful guidance and information for both employers and young workers to help reduce the risks at work can be found on the authority’s website at www.hsa.ie/education