Helen Green

Leading into danger

Young people in Europe are 40% more likely to suffer an injury at work than older workers.* That statistic comes from an International Labour Organisation report into the impact of Health & Safety measures on younger workers. One of the conclusions from the report is that being new to the workforce, young people (aged between 15 and 24) are more reluctant to say no to leadership requests. When inexperience is also factored in this can lead to unintended health and safety breaches which would not occur in older and more experienced workers.

For leaders therefore, the challenge is twofold. Firstly, they have to ensure that those new to the workforce fully understand the steps which are needed in order to ensure their, and others, safety. But perhaps more importantly leaders have an obligation to consider the relationship which they have with their people and the way in which requests may be reviewed. Leadership is a two way process and the more open and empowering the dialogue, the greater the chance that the outcome will be positive.