The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety recently sponsored the first International Youth Congress as part of the triennial World Congress on Health and Safety. Young people from all over the world were represented by the congress, from countries including Japan, Azerbaijan and the UK as well as Canada, and these promising future contributors to the global manufacturing industry were invited to speak and learn about manufacturing issues that impact their generation.
Through a series of educational programs and interactive exercises, the 42 delegates involved in the program gained an opportunity to learn about the global trends that will shape the manufacturing industry in the near future, and they were provided with opportunities to discuss how their generation will drive the industry forward.
Some of the topics that received the most attention dealt with health and safety issues and the programs and policies that protect workers from illness and injury on the job. And within this category, the delegates discussed how current health and safety standards and policies do and don’t apply to the needs of younger workers.
Diversity in Workplace Health and Safety
One of the prominent concerns for health and safety experts can be considered an issue of diversity. Despite policy changes and workplace adaptations designed to benefit “generation Y”, it’s become evident that this generation isn’t defined by a few broad blanket statements and assumptions. The generation currently entering the manufacturing workplace is the most diverse one on record, with employees representing a countless variety of ethnicities, backgrounds, races, genders, and personal histories. A one-size-fits- all approach to worker protection won’t work in the manufacturing industry of the future. Instead, worker protections must be customized to adapt to specific workplace conditions, skill sets, cultural backgrounds and physical requirements.
Will your workplace be ready for a new wave of talented employees with highly specialized skill sets and diverse health and safety needs? Will you know what to do when these talented young applicants arrive at your door?
Maintain Flexible Workplace Policies
Health and safety polices will need to stay flexible and will need to evolve rapidly as the needs of new employees grow and change. Managers and business owners will need to keep pace with new forms of technology that will streamline incident reporting and new forms of safety technology that will protect workers from exposure to dangerous conditions. The new generation of manufacturing talent will appreciate employers who can stay compliant with changing regulations and adapt quickly to an evolving business climate.
For more on how to attract, retain, and protect the health of a younger workforce, contact the staffing experts at Lift Temp.