Where do young people learn about OHS?

School, home and work all play a part in young people learning about workplace health and safety.


Many young people in Victoria undertake OHS training at school - before they commence work experience or structured workplace learning. Those who do work experience are required to complete the safe@work program before hand. Click here to find more information about the OHS training students need to do before they undertake work experience and structured workplace learning.


Parents have considerable influence on their children's attitudes and behaviour and there is a link between parental risk-taking and youth risk-taking (Barling et al 1998, Kelloway & Watts 1994).


In many workplaces OHS is a part of the workplace induction. Some workplaces also have ongoing OHS training and/or provide information about OHS.

In some workplaces formal OHS training isn't provided and young workers receive informal OHS training from a colleague or learn from watching co-workers. The quality of this informal training is dependent on the knowledge and experience of the co-worker and their ability to convey their knowledge or to perform tasks safely. There is the potential for bad habits to be passed on to younger workers.

Young people's inclination to take risks in the workplace is also influenced by the work environment and when young people see co-workers taking risks, they are much more likely to take risks. On the other hand, supervisors who are explicit about not allowing risk taking reduce the risk taking by young workers (Westaby & Lowe 2005).


Barling, J., Dupre, K.E., & Hepburn, C. 1998. Effects of parents' job insecurity on children's work beliefs and attitudes, Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 112-118.

Kelloway, E.K. & Watts, L. 1994. Pre-employment predictors of union attitudes: Replication and extension, Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 631-634.

Westaby, J. & Lowe, J.K. 2005. Risk-taking orientation and injury among youth workers: Examining the social influence of supervisor, coworkers, and parents, Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(5), 1027-1035.