11th August 2017

Young workers ignoring health and safety

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More than a quarter of millennials are at risk of hazard by not following health and safety procedures in the workplace, new research reveals.

The study was carried out by WorkMobile and looked at 2,000 employees working at businesses with more than five members of staff.

It discovered 27 per cent of 18 to 34 year-olds had put themselves at risk by not following their firm’s health and safety procedures.

This is despite 56 per cent being more likely to have read health and safety guidance, compared to their older colleagues (30 per cent) in the 45-64 age group (only 8 per cent of older people put themselves in positions of risk even though they have not read the literature provided).

The survey is part of the ‘Work Safe’ report, which looks at the current state of health and safety in the UK and where improvements need to be made to protect workers.

A third of 18 to 34 year-olds admitted they would have no idea what to do if a hazardous situation occurred. But two thirds of 45 to 64 year olds would know what to do if a potentially dangerous situation at work occurred.

Colin Yates, chief support officer at WorkMobile, said: “Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of employers to ensure they are supplying staff with the necessary information and guidance to allow them to work in an appropriate manner. But while most businesses are meeting this legal requirement, it’s extremely concerning to see is that many young people are failing to take health and safety seriously and are putting themselves in danger by not following the correct procedures.

“For business owners, it can be difficult to know whether employees have actually read their handbooks and are up to speed with on the company’s health and safety products.

“To make sure young people are following the correct procedures, companies should consider introducing frequent meetings or updates to discuss health and safety in the workplace, so it remains front of mind for employees and they are aware of what to do if a hazardous situation was to occur. It’s important that both employers and employees take health and safety seriously to ensure that everyone is able to work in a safe environment.”