Young workers in The Netherlands seem to have a relatively high frequency of occupational accidents. This paper sets out to examine to what extent this can be attributed to 1) their being young and inexperienced; in other words their human capital, and 2) selection of young workers into specific hazardous situations; in other words their exposure profile. The main contribution to the literature of this paper is an attempt to factor occupational safety into these two counterparts by means of an empirical model.
Results of the analysis could be helpful in defining a policy strategy. If the relative high accident frequency results from selection into hazardous situations, a regulation policy that keeps young workers away from these hazards or limits their exposure to these hazards, is called for. However, if the relative high accident frequency relates to human capital deficits, a policy of making young workers less vulnerable is the better option