Creating safe workplaces when employing young workers

Explore the essential strategies required when creating a secure workplace environment for young workers.

As an employer, prioritising the safety and well-being of your employees is a top priority. With their inexperience regarding workplace procedures and safety guidelines, you need to establish adequate measures that create a secure work environment.

With workers under the age of 25 being more likely than average to claim workers’ compensation, the need for proper safety measures for young workers is crucial (SafeWork Australia 2023).

By creating a safe and supportive working environment, you as an employer will not only fulfil your legal obligations but also make significant contributions to shaping the personal and professional growth of these young workers for a more resilient and safer workforce for the future.

By improving young workers' safety in the workplace, you can also create a better reputation among the younger workforce, making you an employer of choice.

How to create safe workplaces when employing young workers

Based on the industry you operate in, your workplace needs to establish certain safety procedures to truly ensure that young workers understand and are complying with the necessary safety standards.

training and supervision

Comprehensive training and supervision

Employing young workers means you need to implement thorough training programmes that cover safety protocols, proper use of equipment, and hazard identification. Assign experienced employees to act as mentors or supervisors to keep an eye on young workers and to guide them to understand and adhere to safe practices.

hazard control

Risk assessment and hazard control

Conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential hazards specific to the tasks and roles assigned to young workers. Implement comprehensive control measures like engineering controls, administrative controls, and even the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimise identified risks in the workplace.

safety measures when employing young workers

Continuous monitoring and improvement

You need to regularly review and evaluate the effectiveness of your safety measures when employing young workers. Get feedback from supervisors, mentors, and young workers themselves as they will have more insights into the safety updates required. You should also adopt strategies to address any emerging issues.

experience appropriate

Age or experience appropriate roles

Young workers don’t have the same level of experience that other workers have and carefully evaluating the roles they are assigned with their physical and cognitive capabilities is important. Avoid exposing them to hazardous or high-risk workplace situations that may exceed their experience or level of maturity.

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Research from NSW indicates that 15- to 25-year-olds have a 75 per cent greater chance of being injured at work



Research from NSW indicates that 15- to 25-year-olds have a 75 per cent greater chance of being injured at work


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Create safer environments for young people with Youthsafe

Youthsafe is a leading organisation that has dedicated its services to promoting the safety and well-being of young people in Australia. With a comprehensive range of services and programmes, they offer valuable resources and support to employers, parents, instructors, teachers, and other adult influencers who support young people whether they’re at work, socialising, driving, or engaging in sports.

By partnering with us, you have access to evidence-based programmes and best practices to create safer environments for young people in Australia.


Why is it important to have specific safety measures for young workers?

Young workers often lack experience and may be unaware of potential risks in the workplace. They are also more vulnerable to accidents and injuries due to their physical and cognitive development stage. Implementing tailored safety measures ensures their protection and helps cultivate a safer work culture.

What type of training should be provided to young workers?

Comprehensive training should cover workplace safety protocols, hazard identification, proper use of equipment, emergency procedures, and their rights and responsibilities. Hands-on training and supervision by experienced mentors can reinforce safe work practices.

How can employers promote open communication with young workers?

Establish open channels for communication, such as regular check-ins, anonymous feedback systems, or designated safety representatives. Encourage young workers to voice concerns or ask questions without fear of retaliation or judgement.