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Young workers: Health and safety matters

16 July 2014

With the holiday season underway for many, employers are urged to pay extra attention to the health and safety of young people hired for temporary, summer work as they are far more likely to be injured in workplace accidents during their first few months than at any other time, according to the British Safety Council.

Alex Botha, chief executive at the British Safety Council, says: "Vacation jobs are a great way for young people to earn money, get some experience and develop skills, but we know they can be particularly vulnerable when they start work. 


"Of course employers working with young people doing summer jobs have duties to keep workers safe and well. Employers also have an opportunity to communicate the importance and basic principles of health and safety to young people as they start their working lives. This essential learning can be taken to their next job and beyond. In doing so they can keep themselves and their co-workers healthy and safe while having the confidence to speak up if they have concerns about the hazards they are facing. 


"Sensible risk education is crucial to achieve the British Safety Council’s vision that nobody is injured or made ill at work. Our Speak Up, Stay Safe campaign highlights the particular risks that young people face and puts good communication at the heart of good health and safety. We have worked closely with schools and have provided resources to help them develop hazard awareness among young people. We have a dedicated website that is easily accessible, with information that is simple to understand and advice that is helpful for any employer working with young people. I strongly advise employers to check out the resources we have made freely available and take this opportunity to help build safety and wellbeing cultures for the future.”


A dedicated Speak Up, Stay Safe campaign website has information, fact sheets on the law and good practice, tips on working with young people as well as videos and links to organisations such as the HSE. It is freely available at: www.britsafe.org/speakupstaysafe.