How To Keep Your Apprentices and Other Young Workers Safe On the Jobsite
The new year often sees a rise in new, young workers entering the construction industry for the first time.
Whether they’re apprentices or already qualified, these young workers can sometimes be a little more of a risk on site than you’re used to having.
Worksites are inherently dangerous places. Even the most seasoned of workers are at risk of serious injury or death, so young- and potentially complacent- workers are far more likely to cause harm or injury to themselves.
While no one is allowed on a job site without a white card– meaning they have gone through adequate safety training- these youngsters still need to be kept safe at work, while still maintaining occupational health and safety compliance.
In this blog, we’re going to be covering some of the dangers that could face a young apprentice or worker, so sit back with your cuppa while we get into it.
Keeping the Young Ones Safe
Despite the fact that young workers make up about 10% of the construction workforce, they are not always taken seriously.
Construction companies often view young workers as inexperienced and unskilled, so it’s important to take the time to build a rapport with young workers and give them opportunities to prove themselves.
It’s also important to be open to their ideas, even if they aren’t always the most practical.
Since many people learn better on the job, it can be helpful to give young workers the opportunity to learn and make mistakes. This way, it will be easier for them to grow and learn from the experience. It is also important to create a safe environment where young workers are comfortable working.
Having young workers on your staff can be a great asset.
They often come with great enthusiasm, and a willingness to learn and be moulded into the perfect apprentice and employee for you in the long term.
However, with every pro, there may be a con.
Enthusiasm is wonderful, but can also mean tasks being rushed or not done with care.
As detrimental as this may be to the work itself (and your business!), of greater concern is the potential for accidents to happen due to complacency and carelessness.
Reiterating the importance of safety and reminding your young workers of their safety training can help to mitigate any potentially dangerous situations.
Additionally, all of your workers- old and new, should be receiving regular safety and compliance notifications and training, so that they’re able to take responsibility for keeping themselves safe.
Young workers may also not have the experience to work by themselves, so be sure to provide them with support and guidance.
Ensure they’re partnered in their work- don’t leave younger workers to complete tasks by themselves until they have shown proficient levels of competency within the required skill set.
Lastly, ensure your younger workers feel comfortable asking for help. They should never be left to figure things out for themselves- the consequences could be catastrophic.
Working with young workers on a construction site is a great way to teach them valuable skills and to keep themselves safe. However, it’s important to keep in mind that young workers are often still children and need to be treated as such.
Maintaining Compliance with Young Workers Onsite
By working with young workers on a construction site to keep them safe, you are helping to create a more positive work environment.
There are many ways to work with young workers on a construction site, but the most effective way is to make it a collaborative effort. In order to make this a collaborative effort, you should first set up a clear chain of command.
This will help to keep the young workers in line and make sure that they are following the proper procedures. You should also make sure that the young workers have the correct safety equipment and that they have the correct training.
You should also have a clear idea of what the young workers are allowed to do and not do. You should also make sure that the young workers are aware of the dangers of the construction site and that they are wearing appropriate clothing.
Young workers should also be given plenty of opportunities to take breaks and rest. In order to make a construction site a safe and positive place, you should make sure that the young workers are involved and that they are aware of what is going on.
Safety is always the priority, so ensuring your younger workers are aware of your safety procedures is paramount.
OHS Compliance Solutions is committed to the health and safety of you and your staff, so check out our website for more information on keeping safe and compliant in 2023.