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Exploring factors contributing to young workers’ vulnerability to work-related harm
journal contributionposted on 07.12.2021, 23:05 by Manfred Manglicmot, Olivia Cotton, Sonia Chen, Joanne CrawfordJoanne Crawford
New Zealand has experienced significant increases in youth employment rates in the last 20 years with 40 per cent of people employed part-time. This age group has been associated with the second-highest rate of injury claims. At the current time, there is limited information on why young workers in New Zealand are more vulnerable to work-related harm. This project aimed to explore this with a convenience sample of young workers using an online survey. Participants represented a diverse ethnic population but the sample was predominately female. In total, 32.7 per cent of respondents had received no occupational health and safety (OHS) training when starting work. Fifty-seven per cent of the sample thought that OHS was valued by their employer. Interestingly, 63 per cent of the sample said they would be confident about speaking up about an OHS issue with most being willing to speak to their manager. In relation to stress, the analysis identified that there was an association between feeling stressed and being unable to follow OHS protocols (p=0.05). While this was a small exploratory study, suggestions made to improve OHS include clear and open communication between workers and employers, improved access to OHS resources and continuous and in-depth training.