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A journalist with 13 years of experience on trade publications covering construction, local government, property, pubs, and transport.
August 15, 2017

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Millennials ‘not taking health and safety seriously’


More than a quarter of millennials are not following health and safety procedures in the workplace and putting themselves in danger, according to new research.

The study of 2,000 employees by WorkMobile of businesses with more than five workers discovered 27% of 18 to 34 year olds had put themselves at risk by not following their firm’s safety procedures.

This is despite being more likely to have read health and safety guidance (56%) compared to their older colleagues (30%) in the 45-64 age group.

Less in danger

But only 8% of older people put themselves in positions of risk even though they have not read the literature provided.

The research also showed younger workers did not know how to deal with a hazardous situation although they had read about it in the handbook.

A third of 18 to 34 year olds admitted they would have no idea what to do if a hazardous situation occurred. But two thirds (67%) of 45 to 64 year olds would know what to do if a potentially dangerous situation at work occurred.

Work Safe report

The survey forms part of the ‘Work Safe’ report, which looks at the current state of health and safety in the UK and where improvements need to be made to protect workers.

Colin Yates, chief support officer at WorkMobile, said: “Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of employers to ensure they are supplying staff with the necessary information and guidance to allow them to work in an appropriate manner. But while most businesses are meeting this legal requirement, it’s extremely concerning to see is that many young people are failing to take health and safety seriously and are putting themselves in danger by not following the correct procedures.

“For business owners, it can be difficult to know whether employees have actually read their handbooks and are up to speed with on the company’s health and safety products.

“To make sure young people are following the correct procedures, companies should consider introducing frequent meetings or updates to discuss health and safety in the workplace, so it remains front of mind for employees and they are aware of what to do if a hazardous situation was to occur. It’s important that both employers and employees take health and safety seriously to ensure that everyone is able to work in a safe environment.”

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Helen Rawlinson
Helen Rawlinson
6 years ago

This is a disappointing read. Not only because this ‘group’ of people are assumed to be disregarding procedures but because they are labelled as ‘not taking H&S seriously’.
One hopes the full report doesn’t take the extremely linear view in this summary, which assumes the system is safe within itself and that more experienced workers don’t learn how to deal with the risk they are exposed to any other way than by reading procedures.

John Vastin D. Akplehey
John Vastin D. Akplehey
6 years ago

Many of these young lads think safety education is a means of wasting their precious working hours and would therefore like to take short cuts to accomplish tasks. Most of them also don’t long years of experience and therefore under rate safety. It could happen that our young workers started their working with organizations safety is either not known or poor safety culture exists.

6 years ago

… or, the younger people are aware of their level of inexperience, and the older people (my generation) think they know it all. It all depends on how you ask the questions, and how you interpret the answers. Self-reports = unreliable evidence