In a high-risk environment, every step possible must be taken to ensure the safety of your employees. Are you doing everything possible to protect your less experienced staff members from injury? Due to the higher prevalence of injury among young employees in industrial and manufacturing settings, these safety reminders from OSHA deserve your attention.
Accident prevention tips for young employees
1. Make safety training a priority
Younger workers are almost certain to have less work experience than their older counterparts. Since many of the safety habits you might consider to be common sense are actually products of experience, never assume any new employee has the knowledge to thrive and stay safe at an unfamiliar workplace. If even your long-term staff need a safety refresher on occasion, young and new employees deserve special attention during the training period.
2. Assign a mentor to inexperienced workers
Even after receiving training, it takes time for new employees to adapt to their workflow. As such, it’s best to assign a highly experienced employee to work alongside your younger recruits. By doing so, you prevent unsafe habits from forming and guarantee high quality work from day one.
3. Rethink your work assignments
While it’s true workers in their teens and early 20s may be up to twice as likely to be involved in an accident, it would be unwise to put the blame solely on their inexperience or work ethic. In many workplaces, jobs that are extremely physically demanding are passed off to the youngest workers available, both as a rite of passage and to take advantage of their high energy levels and enthusiasm. Despite such advantages, jobs that are difficult and physically taxing are often more suited to an experienced worker. In all cases, be sure that assignments are made with the worker’s safety and ability in mind, not convenience.
4. Encourage new hires to ask questions
In a hostile work environment, it’s difficult for new hires to ask questions. Since younger workers are especially likely to be nervous about asserting themselves, make sure your company culture is open and supportive. Aside from encouraging your long-time staff to continue training your new hires, be sure to visit them frequently to make sure they are comfortable and check on their needs. A little bit of extra attention can prevent a huge accident.
In any workplace, safety is everyone’s responsibility. At All Quality Labor, we partner with companies across the state to find and train safety conscious industrial workers. To learn more about solving your temporary, part-time and permanent staffing needs, contact us today.