New Employees suffering more workplace accidents due to inexperience

May 2016

The Health and Safety Authority (HAS) has launched a radio awareness campaign aimed at reducing workplace accidents due to inexperience.

A recent HSA/ESRI study of workplace accidents found that new employees are four times more likely to suffer workplace accidents due to inexperience in the first six months of a new job. The research was based on workplace injury and illness figures over a 12 year period from 2001 to 2012.

The study found that new employees – and not just younger ones – were at a much higher risk of being involved in workplace accident due to a lack of training and supervision, a reluctance to question instructions, or a lack of safety knowledge.

The risk of injury and the incidence of workplace accidents decreases with age and experience according to the study. This is explained in the HSA/ESRI report as being due to lower risk-taking and a reduction in the involvement of manual tasks.

Martin O’Halloran – Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority – is concerned that employers should be aware their new employees are a vulnerable group: He said:

“It is vital that new workers are given adequate training and supervision. This means showing a person the correct way of doing a task and making sure that they can carry out the task correctly and safely. This is particularly important in sectors like construction and agriculture where hazards such as machinery, work at height and manual-handling are common.”

Mr O´Halloran continued: “When we inspect a workplace we are looking for signs that the employer is actively managing safety and health. We find that the good employers are aware of their obligations and have a strong focus on induction training.”

 

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