The HSA/ESRI has published study of workplace accidents which has revealed data which indicates 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 employees which were recently hired–and not just younger ones–were at a much higher risk of being involved in workplace accident due to a lack of training, experience and supervision, a reluctance to question instructions for fear of being seen as incompetent, or a lack of safety knowledge about their workplace.
The study has further revealed that risk of injury and the incidence of workplace accidents decreases with age and experience. The HSA/ESRI report attributes this as being due to lower risk-taking and a reduction in the involvement of manual tasks.
The Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority-Martin O’Halloran–expressed concern that employers should be aware their new employees are a group more vulnerable to accidents. 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.”
The awareness campaign will run on the radio until March 18th. Its primary goal is to raise awareness of workplace accidents due to inexperience by reminding employers of their duties in relation to new employees.