Young Workers

Archive No. 22

In the news Law in action In quotes Archive»


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


Young worker resource updated

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has re-launched its Young People at Work website.

The site features valuable information on work experience, the law and risks to young people at work. There is also a section of resources including useful links, publications and the recent HSE podcast on young workers.




Higher injury risk for young dyslexic workers?

A new study conducted by Canadian organisation The Institute for Work and Health (IWH) suggests that young people with dyslexia may be more likely to get injured at work.

Researchers used government statistics to look at the relationship between learning disabilities, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and job-injury rates among 14,000 15- to 24-year-olds who had worked during the previous year.

The study found that those with ADHD had the same probability of being injured at work as young people without the condition.

However, young people with dyslexia were 1.9 times more likely to be hurt on the job than those without.

Dr.Curtis Breslin, who led the study, said: “The early indicators are that dyslexia contributes to higher injury rates among young workers. It could be that the particular problems with reading, spelling and writing that characterize dyslexia make it more difficult to understand and remember safety training or contribute to poor supervisor-worker communications.”

Dr Breslin has now called for more emphasis on usability in workplace health and safety education, accommodating varied learning styles and targeting all ages and levels of literacy.



Ladder Exchange ‘09

If you are using a broken or battered ladder at work, you can now replace it with a new one at a reduced price, as part of HSE’s Ladder Exchange 2009 campaign which runs from 1 September until 31 December.

The initiative has been running for two years so far, during which more than 5,500 dodgy ladders have been removed from workplaces across the UK. Old ladders can be taken to a range of participating outlets and part-exchanged for new ones at up to a 50% discount. Companies taking part include: ABRU, HSS Hire,, SGB Hire and Sale, The Ladder Association and Youngman Group.

If your job requires you to use a ladder, always check that it is in good working order before using it.

Find out more at:



Facebook safety network

RoSPA has launched a new youth safety network on Facebook.

The site is aimed at teenagers aged 14-19 who want to learn more about how to keep themselves safe or have been affected by an accident in the past; those who want to campaign and raise awareness of safety issues or those who are interested in a safety-related career.

Leah Maleady, the 15-year-old student who helped to set up the group, said: “The youth network is a great way for young people to learn about safety issues and share ideas. I hope we will also be able to develop projects to help people avoid getting hurt in the future.”

The network can be accessed via:



Zombie workplace game

In a bid to raise awareness of the importance of safety at work, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has developed a free online computer game, Don’t be a Zombie at Work.

Players must take the role of an occupational health and safety professional, battling to save a group of workers, employed by the sinister BodgeDab Industries, from hazards such as slippery floors, heavy lifting and hot cooking equipment, before they turn into zombies. As the hero, you must gather useful items and fix the hazards before becoming a zombie yourself.

Access the game at:



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

“Adam was clearly a young lad prepared to work for a living, unlike many of those you see on street corners taking for granted government handouts, and it sickens me that the education system let him down and then labelled as non–academic he ended up vulnerable to the actions of an incompetent and dangerous employer.

“He probably just wanted some spending money to be like his friends, but we need to make sure young people are educated on the risks employers can throw at you, when the only kind of work you can get is unskilled and dangerous. The government must do much more to stop vulnerable young boys being so badly treated, put at risk and killed”.

Judith Allen (whose son Steven was 23 when he was killed on a building site in 2007) commenting on the conviction of builder Colin Holtom for the manslaughter of 15-year-old labourer Adam Gosling.


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