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Young workers

Last updated April 2021

You need to consider a young worker’s age as a specific risk factor when identifying hazards and controlling risks in your workplace.

Health and safety for young workers

Young workers are often the most at risk in the workplace, with consistently more work-related injuries and hospitalisation than any other age group.

Definition: Young Workers

Young workers are people aged 15–24 years who work:
- permanently;
- casually;
- as a labour-hire worker;
- as an apprentice or trainee; or
- as part of work experience or a structured workplace learning program.

Young workers are often at greatest risk of injury in the workplace because they may:

  • lack the experience, knowledge and skills to fully appreciate the risks in the tasks they are performing;
  • not be able to protect themselves and their co-workers from injury as competently as a more experienced worker;
  • try to perform tasks that are physically or mentally beyond their current capabilities;
  • not have received appropriate training and instruction; and
  • not ask questions or raise safety issues.