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YouTube films guide young5th of December 2013
Young people who enter the labour market need guidance and advice to avoid accidents, reports Petra Sjouwerman, our correspondent in Denmark.
Young people who enter the labour market are more prone to injuries than their older and more experienced colleagues. This is why the Danish Working Environment Council (BAR), has started a campaign aimed at young people.
A website, a corresponding Facebook group and short films on YouTube offer information on the most important health and safety regulations. An interactive game relates in an entertaining way problems young people could encounter in their working lives. Furthermore, the website contains cartoons and information leaflets on rights and duties, working routines and working environment – both the mental and physical environment.
In Denmark safety education is mandatory at most levels of education, from primary school to secondary and vocational education. Therefore the website contains materials that can be used in teaching. But also parents and employers can find an overview of the most important health and safety regulations.
In the Danish Working Environmental Council BAR, employers and employees work together to promote a good working environment in the various industries, like construction, industry, the financial sector and office workers.
Prevention of work accidents and occupational diseases has been high on the agenda of the Danish authorities for many years. Prevention of occupational diseases is not only essential for individuals, their health and quality of life, but also important for employers and for society as a whole. In Denmark every year 2,700 newly recruited young people get injured on the job.
“With a job you can afford the things that are important to you. Perhaps you also have fun experiences with good colleagues, and the opportunity to develop yourself professionally and personally. But it is important that your work is safe and healthy. Therefore you must know the safety, rights and duties of the job. Click and learn,” it says on the website. Ungmedjob.dk (youngwithjob) aims at young people between 16 and 25 years.
In ‘10 recommendations’ the website describes how to ‘take care of yourself and to listen to your body’s signals’. Examples of the recommendations are: avoid twisting your body, work with nose and toes in the same direction. Work with your arms close to the body, avoid action with straight arms. While floor cleaning, switch between push and figure-of-8 method. Work with good distance between the feet. While vacuuming, hold vacuum hose behind your back, one hand gripping the hose, the other hand on the suction tube.
One of the advantages is that the website gives teachers and employers a clear insight into the considerations of young people, as everybody can see the answers given to the questions in the interactive game on the site. To the question if they would consider a cleaning job in an office building all by themselves, 33 per cent of the participants answer that they would turn the job down. Another 33 per cent would suggest they could do the job with a colleague.