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Teenagers in summer jobs an injury risk

YOUNG people on summer jobs are most at risk of being injured in a workplace accident.

Businesses have been warned to be extra-cautious when taking on young workers.

Despite accounting for just 4pc of the workforce, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) says that young people accounted for about 10pc of reported workforce injuries.

European figures indicate younger people are at least 50pc more likely to be hurt at work than older, more experienced workers.

RESEARCH

The HSA said that it was vital that employers understand the risks with employing teenagers and inexperienced workers.

"Accidents don't just happen. Our research shows that the vast majority of accidents can be prevented with some forward planning and common sense," HSA education manager Joanne Harmon said.

"Young people, possibly entering the workforce for the first time, are at an early stage in developing the necessary skills and awareness levels, so employers need to pay special attention to them, particularly around their training and induction."

The HSA said that it was vital for employers to understand the risks with employing teenagers and young inexperienced workers.

Employers have been told to ensure proper training, and closely supervise and encourage them to raise concerns and ask questions if they have any.

TRAINING

"Summer jobs are a fantastic way for teenagers to learn new skills and gain experience that will stand to them as adults," Ms Harmon added.

"We want all young people to have fond memories of their early jobs so it's vital that they and their employers are aware of the risks around workplace accidents and take the necessary precautions and safeguards."

The HSA has encouraged workers to follow training instructions, report accidents or near-misses and to get help from colleagues when necessary during their work.

hnews@herald.ie


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