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.



Worker characteristics – Youth characteristics

Work provides young people with opportunities to develop meaningful and marketable job skills, autonomy, responsibility, punctuality, competence and independence, build character and self-esteem, while at the same time allowing for vocational development and opportunities for vocational exploration. Yet young workers are still a very heterogeneous group in terms of their various stages of physical, cognitive and psychosocial development, balancing school/further education, as well as in their motivations for working, amount of time they work, types of work/jobs/tasks, and the way they spend their money (personal items, savings, education, family).


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