A tragedy from Great Britain illustrates exactly how vulnerable new workers can be and why you should take special measures to ensure their safety.
There have been numerous studies and are plenty of statistics out there that show that new workers are more vulnerable to being hurt or killed on the job than other segments of the workforce and so need extra attention. (That’s why the OHS laws generally include special requirements for new workers, such as the need to provide safety orientations.)
But sometimes abstract studies and stats aren’t enough to really drive this message home.
Here’s a tragic example from Great Britain of just how vulnerable new workers can be.
A recycling company was fined £180,000 ($325,725 CD) after a worker was killed on his first day at work.
The 29-year-old worker was using a forklift when the vehicle overturned, crushing him to death. He’d been hired on a temporary four-day contract and was just a few hours into his first day when the incident happened.
An investigation of the incident by the Health and Safety Executive found that forklift truck drivers regularly had to work in an area that was often covered in waste materials, which prevented them from turning the vehicles safely. In addition, the worker wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and there was no company policy in place to ensure seatbelts were worn.