Research Shows "Newness" Means Greater Risk

When it comes to work-related injury, "newness" can mean higher risk. This is
just one of the topics explored in a new series of "Issue Briefings" launched
by the Canadian Institute for Work & Health (IWH). Issue Briefings provide
summaries of research findings, from IWH and elsewhere, written in plain
language, on various topics that are of particular interest to policy-makers.

New research is showing that "newness" in the labour market is associated with
a higher risk of work-related injury. Whether it's young workers, workers of
all ages who are new to their jobs, newly immigrated workers or employees in
newly established firms, the evidence indicates that these workers face higher
injury rates and/or more hazardous jobs. The IWH Issue Briefing summarizes the
key research behind these findings and explores the implications for
policy-makers in governments and health and safety service providers.

Many aspects of newness were examined in the IWH research and highlights of key
findings are summarized below.

New to labour market

Young men experienced a higher rate of work-related injury than other workers,
but much of this increased injury risk came from the fact that they were more
likely to be new to their jobs, in high risk occupations, and/or in jobs
requiring a high degree of physical effort.

New to job

Workers on the job for less than a month had four times as many compensation
claims as more experienced workers who held their current job for more than a
year. Part of this increase is attributed to the fact that most new workers do
not receive adequate training. In a recent study, over 75% of employees in
their first year of employment indicated that they had not received health and
safety training.

New firms

New firms opening in the previous or current year had a 25% higher rate of
workers' compensation claims than other firms. One of the possible reasons for
this observation could be that training new workers in occupational health and
safety may be difficult for a new firm to manage if it has many new workers
within a short period of time.

Further Information - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety