Creating a Safe Workplace for Young Workers: A Guide

Young worker operating a forklift in a warehouse.


As an experienced health and safety professional, I have witnessed first-hand the unique challenges and risks associated with ensuring the safety of young workers in the workplace. This article aims to provide employers, safety officers, and trainers with practical strategies and insights into creating a safe and conducive environment for young workers. By focusing on this demographic, we are not only complying with legal obligations but also fostering a culture of safety that benefits all employees.

Understanding the Risks for Young Workers

Young workers, typically those under 25, are often at a higher risk of workplace injuries and accidents. This increased risk can be attributed to several factors including limited work experience, lack of familiarity with workplace hazards, and sometimes, a reluctance to ask questions or raise concerns. It is crucial for employers to recognize these factors and tailor their safety strategies accordingly.

Legal Obligations and Compliance

In Australia, employers have a legal obligation under the Work Health and Safety Act to ensure the health and safety of all workers, including young and inexperienced staff. This involves providing adequate training, supervision, and resources to ensure their safety. Failure to comply with these obligations can result in significant legal and financial repercussions.

Key Strategies for a Safe Workplace for Young Workers

  1. Tailored Induction and Training Programs: Develop comprehensive induction programs that cater specifically to young workers. This should include clear instructions on safety procedures, emergency protocols, and proper use of equipment.

  2. Regular Safety Training and Refreshers: Implement ongoing safety training sessions. These should not be a one-off event but an integral part of the workplace culture.

  3. Effective Supervision: Ensure that young workers are adequately supervised, especially in high-risk areas. Experienced staff can act as mentors, providing guidance and monitoring performance.

  4. Creating an Open Communication Culture: Encourage young workers to speak up about safety concerns without fear of reprisal. Regular safety meetings and anonymous feedback systems can be effective.

  5. Risk Assessment and Management: Conduct regular risk assessments with a focus on areas where young workers are involved. Update safety protocols based on these assessments.

  6. Investing in Safety Equipment and Signage: Ensure that all necessary safety equipment is available and that safety signs are clear and visible.


Creating a safe workplace for young workers is not just a legal requirement; it is a moral and ethical obligation. By investing in the safety of young workers, businesses are not only protecting their employees but also enhancing their overall productivity and reputation.

If you would like to know more or would like our assistance in the areas mentioned check us out at Alternately, call us on 1300 990 336 or email us at [email protected]

author avatar
Brendan Day Chief Executive Officer
Brendan Day, based in Sydney, is a WHS and Emergency Management expert with a rich background in emergency services, including significant experience as a military firefighter, emergency responder, and emergency response manager. His career spans across both public and private sector roles, where he has developed and implemented comprehensive WHS management and Emergency Management systems. As the CEO and Principle Trainer at Intrinsic Safety, Brendan combines his military discipline with modern safety practices, offering advanced training in workplace health, fire safety, confined spaces, height safety and first aid. His qualifications, including a Diploma of Work Health and Safety, reflect his commitment to safety excellence and continuous improvement in emergency response management and safety practices.
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