Young workers' occupational safety and health risks in the Nordic countries

image of Young workers' occupational safety and health risks in the Nordic countries

An attractive working environment that is inclusive and prevents work-related health problems is important to ensure that as many as possible can participate in the working life. During the Swedish presidency in the Nordic Council of Ministers 2013, the focus is on youth. This also includes the working conditions of young workers. This report has been prepared for a conference that is held in October 2013 by the Swedish Presidency of cooperation with the Swedish ILO Committee and The Nordic Institute for Advanced Training in Occupational Health (NIVA). The objective of the report is to provide important new insight into understanding and preventing young workers’ occupational safety and health (OSH) risks in the Nordic countries. The report provides a brief overview of the context of youth employment and its legal framework, the sectors young workers are employed in, the occupational safety and health hazards they are exposed to and the nature of their injuries and health outcomes.




Young workers are at a highly formative stage in their life, as they continue through much physical, cognitive and psychosocial development. Their motivations for working vary greatly and many young workers are still enjoying “being-young,” yet at the same time many are in a transition period from “school to work,” and “youth to adulthood,” As active parts of the labour market, young workers are a vulnerable group, at high risk of occupational injury and exposure to substances and working conditions that can result in occupational disease and health problems later on in life.


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