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Date PostedJune 18, 2013

White Card Update: Importance of Education for Young Workers

The importance of education for young inexperienced and apprentice workers has once again come under the spotlight, this time in the wake of calls from New South Wales based youth organisation, “Youthsafe”.

Youthsafe has called for increased supervision, education and support for workers particularly between the ages of 15-25, who studies have revealed are most at risk to workplace injuries.

The organisation has reiterated that safety education needs to be designed specifically to young people’s needs because they are still very much undergoing development both physically, mentally and emotionally, special training and education is therefore needed in order to safeguard them against injuries, particularly within high risk industries such as construction.

Youthsafe as an organisation is concerned with the overall safety of youth, in the workplace, on the road, in sport and in society in general. They have emphasised the importance of developing and implementing tailor made education for young people, which they could more easily relate to and understand.

Science has proven that people between the ages of 15-25 are still growing and developing, mentally which influences the way in which they process information, in other words the way they think is not necessarily conducive to issues of safety, which often places them at risk. Young workers, according to the non-profit organisation, do not consider safety issues as regularly as they should, they often risk their health and safety and tend to forget about safety precautions such as PPE, safe work methods etc.

This year alone, a number of young and apprentice construction workers have been injured while engaging in high risk work, most of which were working unsupervised at the time.

This article from SafetyCulture.com.au explains more about Youthsafe’s calls:

YouthsafeYouthsafe has highlighted the need for tailored education after research has shown that young brains continue to develop till the age of 25 and up until that point there is a reduced ability for planning and assessing risks and potential outcomes in the workplace.

Spokesperson for Youthsafe Duncan McRae said that young workers need increased levels of support and strategies that will help them to identify possibly risky behaviour in the workplace.

He said that the studies have illustrated that people in the 15 to 25 year old age bracket are still experiencing considerable changes in the way they think and process information which may not necessarily take into account issues of safety.

Mr McRae said that the adolescent brain develops and processes information differently to an adult brain.

He said that when they are in the mentioned phase they tend not to consider safety in the workplace like wearing PPE, risks with driving vehicles or equipment or the dangers of machinery that they may be using.

Youthsafe is a not for profit organisation whose aim is to prevent young people being injured and they want to send out the message that the emotions and feelings in the young brain tend to dominate any protective functions.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/06/workplace-safety-education-needed-for-younger-workers/

Visit http://www.youthsafe.org/ for more information from Youthsafe about protecting young workers.


Steven Asnicar is regarded as a leader across many fields of industry. In particular, his specialisation across the health, infrastructure, construction, resource and utility sectors has seen him successfully change the dynamics of these industries through the introduction of new strategic, marketing, training and technical frameworks. Steven works closely with industry peak bodies such as Safework Australia, Australian Logistics Council, National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE) and the Council of Australian Governments in the development of new delivery standards and industry specific programs.

Posted in General Construction, White Card, White Card Construction Site Safety Articles Tagged with: , , , ,


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