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The danger of being young at work

By Matt King

If you’ve been to this site, you know what I’m about to say. You know that young workers are more likely to be injured than older, more experience workers. It’s something we’ve mentioned before many times, and it’s something that is at the very foundation of what we do here at Heads Up—and why.

But maybe you don’t know some of the specifics. Maybe you don’t know in 2011, there were close to 4,000 lost-time injuries, meaning they couldn’t work for a certain period of time, to young Alberta workers, aged 15 to 24. Or maybe you didn’t know that from 1999 to 2011, there were over 83,000 lost-time injuries, which made up 19% of all lost-time claims in that time. What about how there were nine work-related deaths of young Alberta workers in 2011? Did you know that?

That’s a lot of numbers and a bunch of information to take in, I know. And while it is safe to say that injury numbers have declined in recent years, we know there is still lots of room to improve.

Young workers are still at risk. The fact is, they don’t have the same experience and are often working in more hazardous environments. Sometimes, they’re not sure what they need to do to be safe.

Are you a young worker? Well, then, we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: trust your gut. Ask questions. If you feel you lack training, ask for it. If you feel that a situation is dangerous, tell your employer about it.

It comes down to what we always say here at Heads Up.

Work smart. Work safe.

Have a good weekend everyone!

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