Young workers more accident prone

More than 50,760 workers under 25 injured in 2006
By
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/26/2008

Young people are more likely to be involved in a workplace accident than other employees, according to the Institute for Work and Health.

The institute has found that adolescents and young adults are twice as likely to sustain a work injury as adults.

More than 50,760 workers under the age of 24 lost time from work after being injured on the job in 2006 and another 51 died, according to the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards. In total, young workers accounted for 15 per cent of the 329,357 lost time claims in 2006 and five per cent of the 976 deaths.

However, the real number of injuries is probably much higher because many incidents go unreported, Dr. Louis Fancescutti, an emergency room doctor and professor at the University of Alberta, told the

Canadian Press

.

In Alberta, workers under the age of 25 make up 17 per cent of the workforce but accounted for nearly one-quarter of injury claims in 2006 and are 33 per cent more likely to be injured on the job than older workers.

Other provinces with resource and agricultural-based economies, such as Saskatchewan, also have high injury rates for young workers, while Ontario has the lowest rate, according to the Institute for Work and Health.

Young workers are more likely than older workers to sustain cuts, contusions, and burns, according to the institute. But they are most commonly affected by sprains, strains and musculoskeletal problems like back pain – just like their older colleagues.

Although adult workers are more likely than their younger co-workers to develop a long-term work-related disability, data collected in Ontario between 1990 and 2003 showed that two per cent of injured teenagers and three per cent of injured young adults were hurt severely enough to be left with a permanent impairment.

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