Exploring and Expanding the Category of ‘Young Workers’ According to Situated Ways of Doing Risk and Safety—a Case Study in the Retail Industry
Keywords:Health, working environment & wellbeing, Gender, ethnicity, age & diversity, Identity, meaning & culture
AbstractYoung adult workers aged 18–24 years have the highest risk of accidents at work. Following the work of Bourdieu and Tannock, we demonstrate that young adult workers are a highly differentiated group. Accordingly, safety prevention among young adult workers needs to be nuanced in ways that take into consideration the different positions and conditions under which young adult workers are employed. Based on single and group interviews with 26 young adult workers from six various sized supermarkets, we categorize young adult retail workers into the following five distinct groups: ‘Skilled workers,’ ‘Apprentices,’ ‘Sabbatical year workers,’ ‘Student workers,’ and ‘School dropouts.’ We argue that exposure to accidental risk is not equally distributed among them and offer an insight into the narratives of young adult workers on the subject of risk situations at work. The categorizations are explored and expanded according to the situated ways of ‘doing’ risk and safety in the working practices of the adult workers. We suggest that the understanding of ‘young’ as an age-related biological category might explain why approaches to prevent accidents among young employees first and foremost include individual factors like advice, information, and supervision and to a lesser degree the structural and cultural environment wherein they are embedded. We conclude that age cannot stand alone as the only factor in safety prevention directed at workers aged 18–24 years; if we do so, there is a risk of overemphasizing age-related individual characteristics such as awareness and cognitive limitations before structural, relational, and hierarchical dimensions at the workplace.
How to Cite
The Copyright Holder of this Journal is the authors and the Journal. This Journal gives Open Access with CreativeCommons license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0.
You can download all the content of the Journal and share it with others as long as you credit the authors and the journal, but you can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.
More specifically this license means that you – authors and users – may:
Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form as long as you follow the license terms. The freedom to share includes parallel publishing on authors’ own website and in institutional repositories or in ResearchGate after publication in NJWLS, or if you want to reprint your article as part of publication of a PhD-thesis or a dissertation
You may share under these terms:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit and provide a link to the license. Appropriate credit implies that you provide the name of the creator and attribution parties, a copyright notice, a license notice, a disclaimer notice, and a link to the material. The link used should be its DOI.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes. A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation.
NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. Merely changing the format never creates a derivative.
Exceptions to the license terms may be granted
If you want to use content in the Journal in another way then described by this license, you must contact the licensor and ask for permission. Contact Bo Carstens at email@example.com. Exceptions are always given for specific purposes and specific content only.
The Journal is listed as a blue journal in Sherpa/Romeo, meaning that the author can archive post-print ((ie final draft post-refereeing) and author can archive publisher's version/PDF.
Copyright of others
Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere.
All published material is archived at Roskilde University Library, Denmark, and transmitted to the Danish Royal Library in conformity with the Danish rules of legal deposit.
We do not screen articles for plagiarism. It is the responsibility of the authors to make sure they do not plagiate.