Workers are far more likely to be injured in workplace accidents during the first few months of a new job than at any other time, says the British Safety Council.
With the holiday season approaching, employers are urged to pay extra attention to the health and safety of young people hired for temporary, summer work.
“Vacation jobs are a great way for young people to earn money, get some experience and develop skills,” says Alex Botha, Chief Executive at the British Safety Council, “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, top tips on working with young people as well as videos and links to organisations like the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It is freely available at: www.britsafe.org/speakupstaysafe
You can also watch our video Construction Risks about a young construction worker talking about staying safe on a busy worksite at: www.youtube.com/user/SpeakUpStaySafe