Are Young Workers Higher Risk than Experienced Workers?

Most people think they are exempt from risk for many reasons. Maybe they 'always pay attention to the task at hand' or maybe they've 'been doing this job for 30 years and has never had an accident'.

While you may think that being experienced at a job makes you less susceptible to an incident than an inexperienced worker might be, you could very well be wrong.

Although many young workers or new workers are more likely to experience some sort of incident(s) (to varying degrees), due to lack of experience, training or awareness of task risks, experienced workers are not exempt.

In fact, in many cases personnel in senior or long-term positions are also at risk of incident. The reason for this lies in complacency.

Someone who has been performing the same job or task for long periods of time are more likely to become complacent to hazards and less likely to recognize risks (obvious or not). They may also be more likely to take risks or 'shortcuts' in order to get a task completed more quickly.

For these reasons, it is critical to ensure competency evaluations and observations (to some degree) are completed on all workers (Young, New and Senior). Workers should be aware of their job responsibilities as well as the hazards associated with their job tasks. It is also important to create a positive safety culture at your workplace so workers from all levels feel as though they can bring safety concerns to their supervisors attention. Without this thought process, hazardous tasks that are performed instead of being reported have a higher likelihood in resulting in incident.


What is the difference between a Young Worker and a New Worker?

A young worker is any worker who is under 25 years of age.

A New Worker can be any age, and includes workers who are:
  • New to the workplace(Whether they've performed the role at another company or not)
  • Facing hazards that have changed or developed while they were at work or absent from work
  • In a new position, workplace, or location that has different hazards than the old one.

Chontell Flight

Chontell is a certified Health & Safety Professional who is passionate about preventing incidents/injuries & reducing workplace risk. "Personnel are our greatest asset & should be protected from harm"

Calgary, AB, Canada

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