When it comes to workplace safety and accident prevention, all workers are not created equally. In fact, some groups of employees—such as younger workers or older workers—are higher risks for certain types of injuries. Evaluating risks that exist for both of these groups and developing strategies to mitigate them are key steps for preventing injuries in the workplace.
YOUNGER WORKERS: GREATER RISK FOR NON-FATAL INJURIES
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classifies young workers as “those new to the workforce, even up to the age 24.” Representing 14 percent of the workforce today, young workers are a great investment to your business; however, they face a higher risk for injuries while on the job than older, more experienced workers.
According to a 10-year study by CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an estimated 7.9 million younger workers were treated for nonfatal injuries in U.S. hospital emergency rooms between 1998 and 2007. The nonfatal injury rate was 5 injuries per 100 full-time workers, making it twice as high as workers over the age of 25. Furthermore, workers between 18 and 19 years of age have the highest incidence of workplace injuries among younger workers.
There are a few reasons younger workers may see a higher incidence of workplace injuries. Of course, there’s the obvious: younger workers are less experienced than their older counterparts and have less job knowledge,...
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