Younger workers hurt more often

Data released by Safe Work Australia revealed one fifth of all work-related injuries experienced by Australian workers were incurred by workers aged 25 years and under.
The report Work-related injuries experienced by young workers 2009-2010 found the injury rate of young workers ? the rate of injuries per 1000 workers ? was 18 per cent higher than for those aged over 25. This means an injury rate of 66.1 work-related injuries per 1000 young workers compared with 56.2 injuries per 1000 workers aged over 25.
Safe Work Australia chairman Ann Sherry AO said young people needed to understand different safety issues in their workplaces and learn the value of following safety procedures to protect them while they are working.
?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,? said Sherry.
?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 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, with half of these feeling their injury was too minor to warrant lodging a claim.
  • Workers? compensation data shows a quarter of all compensated injuries incurred by young workers involved the hand, with young males at particular risk. 
  • Two thirds of young worker traumatic injury fatalities involved a vehicle.
Safe Work Australia identified young workers as one of the age groups of interest under the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022. 
Safe Work Australia is working with regulators and industry to find practical ways to raise awareness in young workers of the hazards they face in the workplace on a daily basis.
An example of work health and safety issues being addressed for young workers at the national level is the development of the Young Worker Toolkit. This online resource gives young workers information on how to stay safe at work, what to do if they get injured while on the job and who to go to for assistance.
The full report is available at the Safe Work Australia website.
Source: Safe Work Australia

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