Young Workers

Archive No. 21

In the news Law in action In quotes Archive»


Click here to go to the top of the page.In the news


Protect yourself this summer

People who work outdoors are being urged to be careful in hot and sunny weather this summer, because of the risk of skin cancer.

Those who work outside, in industries such as construction and farming, are more likely to get sunburnt, which could lead to skin cancer, an illness which kills around 2,000 people each year. People with fair or freckled skin, fair hair or those who have a lot of moles need to be particularly careful not to get caught in the sun.

Outdoor workers should protect themselves by covering up with clothing, a hat and sunscreen, try to take regular breaks in the shade and look out for any changes to the skin, like discolouration or new moles. More advice for employees is available at:

Meanwhile, the TUC has urged employers to protect their workers. TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “This is not a case of workers getting a little hot under the collar. Skin cancer is the fastest growing kind of cancer in the UK and is killing more and more people every year.

“While most of us are now wise to the need to cover up and splash on the sun lotion on holiday, employers tend not to give their sun-exposed employees much of a thought. This may be because unlike injuries caused by a fall at work, the damaging effect of the sun is not obvious until many years after the damage is done.

“Taking simple precautions like looking at what time of the day outside work has to be done, providing canopies, cool comfortable clothing and sun screen won't cost the earth and could help save thousands of lives needlessly being cut short.”




Minimum wage will rise

The government has announced that the National Minimum Wage rate will increase from October this year.

Workers aged 22 and over will be entitled to a minimum of £5.80 per hour, while those aged between 18-21 can expect £4.83 per hour. For 16-17-year olds, the minimum hourly rate will be £3.53.

In addition, the government has agreed to extend the adult minimum wage rate to 21-year-olds from October 2010 onwards. It is also considering introducing a minimum wage for apprentices.



European exchange

Young entrepreneurs can now boost their business skills by experiencing work in another country.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a new European exchange programme which aims to enable young businessmen and women to gain experience of managing a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) by spending time working in another EU country with an experienced entrepreneur.

If you are planning to set up your own business, or if you have already started your own business within the last three years, then you can apply to the scheme.

For more details, see



Advice for aspiring engineers

A new resource on engineering has been launched for young people aged 10 – 19.

The website covers all aspects of engineering and includes advice on how to turn an interest into a career.

Entitled Discover Engineering, the site is a gateway to over 400 useful websites, covering subjects such as chemicals, energy, construction and transport. There is also plenty of information on college and university courses, training, apprenticeships and careers advice.


Promoting healthier lifestyles

A new campaign encouraging young people to “be healthy – be yourself” has been launched by the European Union (EU).

The campaign aims to tackle unhealthy habits which can lead to health problems later in life by encouraging young people to take a more proactive approach. The Youth Health Initiative website contains a blog where topics such as alcohol, mental health, advertising and taking risks are discussed.

There is also a creative competition where young people across Europe can submit an artwork on a variety of health-related themes. Winners will be invited to present their ideas at the EU Youth and Health Conference in Brussels.



Young worker dies at Disney World

A 21-year-old train driver was killed at Disney World in Florida, when two monorail trains collided.

Austin Wuennenberg died at the scene of the crash, which happened as the theme park was closing around 2am. The circumstances of the accident are now being investigated by the US National Transportation Safety Board.,0,3545685.story


Click here to go to the top of the page.Law in action

The information on accidents and prosecutions featured in this section comes from a number of different sources including the Health and Safety Executive and regional and national newspapers.


Click here to go to the top of the page.Young Worker quotes

“I want to see many more young people have the opportunity to be seen and heard as leaders in their communities, central to solving community problems and active in engaging their peers in bringing about change.”

Gordon Brown, Prime Minister


"Hardly a week goes by without another health and safety myth appearing.

“Health and safety is blamed for a lot of things not going ahead, but they’re often about something else – high costs, an event that requires a lot of organising or fear of getting sued.

"Children cannot be wrapped in cotton wool – risk is part of growing up and our children need to learn how to manage risks in the real world.”

Judith Hackitt, HSE Chair


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