“Protect young people in the workplace,” says British Safety Council

by Alex on August 8, 2013

Photo: Maritime Union of New Zealand

Recent findings have shown that over 15,000 young people have been majorly injured at work over the last five years, while new figures reveal that workers are most likely to be injured in the first few months of a new job. Worrying statistics like these have led the British Safety Council to launch a new online initiative to improve workplace safety for young people.

Speak Up, Stay Safe targets both employers and young workers, providing advice, information and training to create safe environments for those new to the workplace.

Particularly in construction, young people generally lack experience and are unfamiliar with the risks involved. New employees and trade apprentices may not recognise or know how to deal with hazards, but are often reluctant to raise concerns.

The initiative not only encourages young people to communicate with their employers regarding safety but also urges employers themselves to take care of their new employees. The Speak Up, Stay Safe website reminds employers of their legal duty to protect workers’ health and safety, and provides specific resources for working with young people.

Recommended steps include detailed inductions, extended training and extra supervision, so that employers can best assess their workers’ abilities. Fact sheets available on the website clearly set out the law and good practice in relation to young people, leaving little room for confusion.

“The first step is to plan ahead and establish what the risks are,” says Alex Botha, British Safety Council CEO, “Risks from lifting, working at height, using machinery, moving around the site, inhalation of dust, are the most common ones. Then using the knowledge of experienced staff decide how best to control these risks including through the provision of relevant training. Do check that young people have understood what they have been taught.”

Young and inexperienced workers add an extra dimension of risk to any site, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. Create professional risk assessments and method statements in minutes with HANDS HQ. Our online tools make ensuring your workers’ safety that much easier.


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