Young workers’ access to and awareness of occupational safety and health services: age-differences and possible drivers in a large survey of employees in Italy Academic Article uri icon


  • Young workers are in particular need of occupational safety and health (OSH) services, but it is unclear whether they have the necessary access to such services. We compared young with older workers in terms of the access to and awareness of OSH services, and examined if differences in employment conditions accounted for age-differences. We used survey data from Italy (INSuLA 1, 2014), with a sample of 8000 employed men and women aged 19 to 65 years, including 732 young workers aged under 30 years. Six questions measured access to services, and five questions assessed awareness of different OSH issues. Several employment conditions were included. Analyses revealed that young workers had less access and a lower awareness of OSH issues compared with older workers. For instance, odds ratios (OR) suggest that young workers had a 1.44 times higher likelihood [95%—confidence interval 1.21–1.70] of having no access to an occupational physician, and were more likely (2.22 [1.39–3.38]) to be unaware of legal OSH frameworks. Adjustment for selected employment conditions (company size, temporary contract) substantially reduced OR’s, indicating that these conditions contribute to differences between older and younger workers. We conclude that OSH management should pay particular attention to young workers in general and, to young workers in precarious employment, and working in small companies in particular.


  • Dragano, Nico
  • Barbaranelli, Claudio
  • Reuter, Marvin
  • Wahrendorf, Morten
  • Wright, Brad
  • Ronchetti, Matteo
  • Buresti, Giuliana
  • Di Tecco, Cristina
  • Iavicoli, Sergio

publication date

  • 2018