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ProActive sees hundreds of patients dealing with pain and damage from workplace accidents every year and too many of those are young people. In fact, young people are far more likely to be injured on the job. Owners and registered therapists Chris Cluett and Justin Whittle are talking about why and how to prevent injuries to young workers for North American Occupational Safety and Health Week.
The Kids Aren’t Alright
Between 2011 and 2015, 142 young workers were killed on the job in Newfoundland and Labrador and hundreds more were injured. Most of the accidents were reported to be caused by lifting or falling, and the majority of those injuries were sprains strains and tears.
The whys and hows
But why are young people more likely to be injured?
Young people have limited experience with workplace hazards. They don’t have the knowledge of what work is dangerous, or the confidence to speak up and refuse to complete dangerous tasks.
Young workers haven’t reached full physical maturity. These workers have a tendency to be more clumsy and since their brain development isn’t complete, often aren’t aware of inherent dangers.
Young workers have a lot going on. With school, work, family and friends, young workers have a busy life and since they’re just learning how to balance it all; they can often lose sight of hazards.
Young workers are too often not properly trained on workplace hazards. Training is one thing employers can invest in to prevent injuries for all workers, but it’s especially beneficial to young workers.
The facts and figures
According to WorkplaceNL, just less than half of the accidents involving 15 to 24-year-olds happen during the first six months of being employed in a new job. Nearly all of the accidents happen when there is no supervisor present. Further, the majority of workers are injured at work in the wholesale and retail trades, service sector, construction, manufacturing and healthcare.
High ho, high ho …
But preventing workplace injuries is easier than we think. There are 10 great tips here from Concentra, which will make a big impact in any workplace. Where you start is letting young people know they have these rights and that it’s their responsibility to stay safe at work too!
It’s off to work we go
If you have been injured on the job, tell your employer immediately, seek out medical help if needed, and ask if physio and occupational therapy will help with pain and range of motion. A physiotherapist can provide information and exercises, helping you get back to work quickly and safely.
Finally, if you’d like more information about what we can do to help you, get in touch, or signup for our newsletter and get the latest right in your inbox; you could win a free massage!
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