Work Smart. Work Safe.
Keep your "Heads Up" and work safe!

Young? You’re bound to get hurt…

By Megan Thorburn

You’re 17. It’s your first day on the job. Do you want the bad news or the good news?

Bad news? Okay.

So, the bad news is that, statistically, you’re more likely to get hurt at work. In fact, it has been shown that young workers are three times more likely get hurt on the job within six months.

Want the good news?

There are ways to avoid it.

How, you might ask?

Well, first thing’s first – pay attention to the safety orientation. Now, we all know you’re excited to get started. However, you need to know the safety risks associated with the job and how to mitigate them.

That’s step one.

Step two? Know your safety rights and, above all else, trust your gut. You have the right to a safe workplace, and chances are your employer has tried to offer you the safest working conditions they can. However, if you come across a situation that doesn’t seem safe or doesn’t feel right, tell your employer. Not only will you potentially avoid an accident for yourself – you might prevent it for others as well.

So, what if you’re not 17? What if you’re an employer who hires 17-year-olds? You’ve done your best to ensure your workplace is as safe as can be. What else can you do?

Well, you can remember what it’s like to be 17 and starting a job for the first time. Looking back, you probably remember feeling too intimated to ask questions – and you probably wanted to impress your employer. The best thing you can do is keep this in mind – your new hire may have questions or observations that may make your workplace that much safer.

Above all, in both cases, if in doubt about safety – trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

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