Young Workers

Archive No. 28

In the news Law in action In quotes Archive»


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Learning the lessons of asbestos risks

A new training initiative for apprentice tradesmen and women is aiming to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced a free training package, called Introduction to Asbestos, which is aimed at young tradespeople who may come into contact with the material while carrying out their work.

Around 4,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases every year in the UK.

The 45-minute interactive training package is aimed primarily at trainees aged between 16-19-years-old and includes a video interview with former pipe fitter Christopher Morgan, who died from mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the lungs or abdomen, often associated with asbestos) in March 2010, aged 58.

The project is being backed by Jean Doyle, a widow whose husband Dave also died from mesothelioma in 2006 after working as a joiner all his life. He was exposed to asbestos while using the material to make properties fire resistant.

Mrs Doyle said: “Dave’s death has had a devastating impact on our family. Young people need to realise the real cost asbestos can have on their lives.

“Both our sons and grandson have followed Dave into the building trade so I’ve made sure they’re aware of the dangers. Trainee apprentices need to know they’re not immortal.

“I hope this new scheme will give them the confidence to say ‘no’ when they’re out at work, if they’re asked to work with asbestos. It may just look like dust but it’s deadly.”

Access Introduction to asbestos at:





Moving on up

Five million young Europeans are looking for a job according to the European Commission, which has launched a new initiative to help young people gain the knowledge, skills and experience they need for employment.

Youth on the move aims to make education and training more relevant to young people and encourage them to take advantage of EU grants to train or study abroad, increasing employability and access to jobs.

László Andor, the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, said: "Finding a job is what millions of young Europeans are most concerned about. Youth on the Move will create new momentum at EU and national level to improve support for young people so that they can find a job, make a living and pursue their own plans.”

Find out more at:




Ladder challenge

A new online game aims to raise awareness of ladder safety amongst young workers.

The Ladder Challenge, created by Canadian safety organisation WorkSafeBC, looks at the hazards of using a ladder on a construction site. Players take the role of a worker who must decide on the six right procedures needed to reach the roof on a building, with points awarded for correct answers.

The game can be shared with others and played on social networking sites such as Facebook.

To play the game, visit:





Workplace rights DVD

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has produced a free DVD to help make young people more aware of their employment rights and responsibilities.

Starting out: Your employment rights and responsibilities is aimed at 14-16 year-olds and offers information on employment rights, discrimination and equality, work experience, health and safety and workplace bullying. Twenty workplace scenarios are performed by professional actors and are linked to lesson plans and worksheets.

Find out more 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


“We should not forget the reason why health and safety exists in the first place – to protect lives.

“Life is a glorious gift. The most terrible tragedy in all this is that so many of the deaths that occur in the workplace are entirely preventable – hundreds of lives are being lost and thousands of people seriously hurt because of basic failings.

“Safety at work is more than just a legal issue – it is a moral one too.”


Right Reverend James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool



"The benefits to individuals of acquiring new skills, whether for work or for private satisfaction, are reflected throughout society.

"I certainly don’t mean to idealise hard work. Let’s be clear that there’s nothing necessarily dignified about some jobs. Jobs that are physically hard and dirty or just boring and repetitive.

"But neither should we underestimate the dignity of labour - the satisfaction of a job well done. For to do so is to undervalue those who labour.

"It’s a dignity we must rejuvenate, because many, though not all, practical skills are undervalued in our society."


John Hayes, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning





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