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.



Work environment legislation for workers under age 18

Actions towards the prevention of occupational injuries and disease are initiated at many levels, including legal frameworks and agreements. In addition to OSH legislation regarding workers in general, there are a number of international Conventions, directives and national legislation directed towards ensuring a safe and healthy working environment for young workers under the age of 18. With employment of young workers under the age of 18, legislation often requires that with the planning, organization, and performance of work, employers must take into account the youth's age, maturity/development and health (physical and mental capacity), lack of experience and knowledge of risks, as well as the work’s influence on schooling and other forms of education.


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