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Award-winning Young Worker Program delivers safer workplaces

Aug 9, 2019

Since its implementation in early 2018, Programmed’s Young Worker Program has seen a 31% reduction in incidents involving young workers across our business, delivering safer workplaces for young people under 25.

The Young Worker Program was developed in response to a series of several young worker (aged between 15 of 24) fatalities across Australia in various industries in 2016-17. We began to explore the factors that make young workers more vulnerable to workplace injuries, as well as examining our exposure and preventative measures in place.

We engaged a Consultant Psychologist who provided a clear understanding of young workers, the stages of their brain development and how they perceive risk compared to other age groups, how they learn and retain information and the strategies to safely and effectively manage them.

We also used industry research to broaden our understanding of the larger picture of work-related injuries relating to young workers. For example, SafeWork Australia reports that every 4 minutes and 24 seconds on average, a young worker is injured in an Australian workplace.

The Young Worker Program includes a series of resources including a supervisor guide, tailored induction videos and other material to educate and protect our young workers, as well as inform and guide host employers and supervisors in managing young workers.

It also includes tools for our staff to validate the controls host employers have in place and systems to flag young workers involved in incidents to identify incident trends and measure the effectiveness of the program.

Since implementation, we have seen a reduction of incidents involving young workers from a rate of 3.69 per 100 young workers from mid-2017 to 2.55 per 100 young workers engaged in 2018. There has been a significant increase in safety discussions between supervisors, managers and young workers, based on the number recorded in our safety management system.

The program has received fantastic feedback from our young employees and our customers. One of our customers, a construction material manufacturer, praised the program recently:

‘This is a great initiative that has driven a strong safety culture for both worker and supervisor and delivered outstanding results.’

The Program has also been recognised for its leading approach by two industry body awards, most recently for Excellence in Safety and Risk Management at the Australian 2019 RCSA Industry Awards. The other was a Platinum Award at the 2018 LearnX Impact Awards.

Looking to improve your safety programs for managing young workers? Talk to our safety consultants today about whether our Young Worker Program could be right for your workplace.

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