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New workers entering the workforce means more injuries on the job

There's plenty of good news for workers in Colorado. Across the country, unemployment rates are falling, and Colorado now ranks 9th in the country for the states with the lowest unemployment rates. In February 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in the state was 3 percent — which means that many people who want jobs are able to get them. 

Simultaneously, the construction and building industries are thriving in the state, and many young workers are finding that they can easily secure jobs with building companies who are looking to hire strong, motivated employees who are interested in learning new skills. 

For the most part, this is welcome reprieve from the years of recovery after the recession that took place a decade ago. However, companies are now busier than ever before, and in the midst of their hiring frenzies, they aren't making safety a top priority.

Young workers and injuries on the job

Recent research reveals that new workers are far more likely to be injured while working during the first month of employment than they are during any other time period on the job. According to an article published in Safety and Health Magazine, employees are three times as likely to be injured while working during that first pivotal month, and to experience an injury that results in time off from work. 

These numbers can be startling, especially for young people who are looking to find a place to work that allows them to earn a living and develop new skills. However, there's more troubling news for these same workers. The report also found that only 1 in 5 new employees are receiving the training that they need in order to stay safe while performing job-related tasks. 

This data highlights the need for employers to provide adequate training and to make workplace safety a top priority. Not only is it best for their employees, but it also prevents the company from having to pay out on their worker's compensation policies and to lose revenue while employees are recovering. 

Why are new employees at a higher risk of workplace injuries?

There's no concrete reason as to why new employees are at a higher risk for workplace injuries than older, more experienced employees. However, safety experts believe that the following factors play a role in this trend:

  • New employees do not always receive adequate training. As employers look to cut costs and increase production, they are often skipping out on vital workplace training programs. The result is catastrophic — both injuries and costs are on the rise for companies.
  • New employees may not be familiar with the equipment that they are using. New workers, especially those that work with heavy equipment on construction sites, are still learning to properly operate the machines that they use every day. This puts them at a higher risk for making a mistake that results in an injury.
  • New employees are more likely to underestimate the risks that are present in the workplace. Given the fact that these employees are not as experienced as others, they are less likely to understand the ramifications of misuse of equipment or of not following safety protocol.

What you should do if you are injured while working

Construction workers are at risk for many different types of injuries, ranging from minor to severe. Unfortunately, fatalities even occur on construction sites in Colorado. It is vital that new employees know what to do in the event that they are injured while working in Denver.

First and foremost, employees need to receive proper medical care. The incident needs to be reported to a supervisor, so that the employee can begin the process of collecting worker's compensation. Any employee who has been injured while working may want to contact a qualified personal injury attorney who specializes in worker's compensation law in Colorado. T

To learn more about the risks to new workers who are starting jobs in the construction industry, set up a consultation appointment with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. Contact us today.

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