Did you know that workers who are new to a job are three times more likely to get injured? Young and new workers tend to be at a higher risk simply because of unfamiliarity with the environment and procedures. Luckily, there is a lot that can be done to help them settle in quickly and safely.
What is something every single one of your workers has in common? If you guessed they have all been young and new to the job, you would be correct! Everyone has been the new kid on campus at some point in their lives, and for those just starting out, these shared experiences can be instrumental in making sure they get off on the right foot. But first things first:
Determinine which of your workers are young or new workers
Step one is identifying who your young or new workers are. Generally speaking, this is going to be pretty simple to do. So, what is it exactly you are looking for?
Young workers are any workers under the age of 25.
New workers can be workers of any age, but who have been on the job for less than six months.
Essentially, you're going to want to make sure when you are onboarding workers that you are aware of anyone who falls into these categories (hint: most new hires should get the new worker treatment, as they are new to your company, rules and environment). Keeping proper employment records will be a massive help here as they should provide you with birthdates and hire dates.
Who is responsible for making sure young and new workers work safely?
As you have probably heard before, either from us or throughout your career, making sure everyone goes home in one piece after a shift is everyone's responsibility. Young and new workers are no exception, however, it is always a good idea to keep an extra eye on them until they get their bearings.
It's a team effort to make sure everyone goes home in one piece at the end of their shift, but there a certain responsibilies that fall on specific people. As with everything else health and safety, make sure you check the regulations for your area. We'll go through some of the more common responsibilities here, but please make sure you are abiding by the provincial and industry reguulations relevant to you.
- To establish and maintain a Health and Safety Committee, or select at least one health and safety representative
- To take every reasonable precaution to ensure safe workplaces
- To train employees about any potential hazards and safe work practices
- To supply personal protective equipment and ensure workers know how to use the equipment safely and properly
- To immediately report all critical injuries to the government department responsible for occupational health and safety or compensation
- To train all employees on how to safely use, handle, store and dispose of hazardous substances and handle emergencies
- To enforce provincial, federal and applicable industry regulations
- To ensure proper equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer is used or worn by workers
- To advise workers of any potential or actual health or safety dangers
- To take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers
- To work in compliance with the applicable regulations
- To use or wear equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer
- To report to their employer or supervisor the absence of or defect in any equipment or any protective device
- To report any known workplace hazards or violations to their supervisor or employer
- To be aware of their rights, such as the right to refuse unsafe work
A little extra help from their colleagues
So far, when push comes to shove, bringing in a young or new worker doen't seem a whole lot different than a normal hire, does it? that kind of depends on how you like to look at things. In most companies, all new hires will go through the same onboarding process. It helps ensure everyone is one the same page.
However, young and new workers can benefit from a little extra support. On top of regular onboarding procedures, consider having them shadow or team up with a worker who has been on the job longer and can show them the ropes on a hands on level. This extra little bit of mentoring can make all the difference. Not only does it provide an extra set of eyes to make sure they are following proper procedures, it also keeps the worker accountable for what they are doing.
Welcome young and new workers!
Now that you have all the tools to make young young and new workers successful members of your company, it's time to go recruit them! Just remember, everyone who works with you has been in their shoes, and so have you. Offer them all the support you would have wanted when you were starting out, and you'll find that they can prove to be an incredible asset to your organization.