A new qualification designed to improve young people's understanding of safe working when taking part in work experience has been announced.
The course and qualification aims to provide Year 10 students with a basic understanding of health and safety in the workplace, so that they understand hazards, and what to expect of their employer.
All schools in England will soon be notified about the qualification and course through Spectrum newsletter for schools and the website: www.teachernet.gov.uk
Full details can be found here on the HSE website.
Acas is warning businesses that ageism is not exclusive to the older generation. Since 1st October 2006, age discrimination regulations make it unlawful to discriminate against employees because of their age and Acas is concerned that there is a risk that employers may be focusing solely on how it affects their older employees.
Acas North West regional director, Susan Clews said: "It's easy to forget that age discrimination can affect all employees, from the youngest to the oldest. Rightly, there has been a lot of publicity about older workers - but we shouldn't forget that the new legislation requires employers to change their behaviour towards the younger generation as well.
“It is equally unacceptable to describe someone as being 'wet behind the ears' as it is to call them 'over the hill’.”
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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has launched a new Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) specifically aimed at further protecting the health and safety of those children and young persons who work and live on farms. Since 1997 some 16 children and young people have been killed on Northern Ireland farms as a result of farming activities.
The ACoP provides practical guidance on how to comply with the new Agriculture (Safety of Children and Young Persons) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 (S.R. 2006 No. 335) which came into operation on 31st October 2006.
Welcoming the new code of practice, Peter McKie, HSENI chairman, said: "Farming continues to be one of the most hazardous workplaces we encounter. This taken with the fact that on most farms the farmer and his family ‘live above the shop’ means that children are exposed to serious risks both when they play and help around the farm.
“Farmers who follow this code will be better placed to minimise these risks and so allow their children and young people to play and work safely."
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The Health and Safety Executive has updated its website to include specific pages covering young workers. Content is split into three sections – the law, risks, and work experience – for ease of use and accessibility.
The legislation section opens with the important ‘health and safety’ definitions of a child, young person and young worker. It is vital to clarify the meanings of these terms because the legislation that applies to each term may vary. A list of the different legislation is included on the site.
The risks section identifies specific risks and also looks at risks in different industry sectors. Visitors can access further guidance by following the links to other web pages and guidelines.
The resources section contains PDFs of HSE leaflets.
The winners of The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) SpeakUp art competition were announced earlier this month. The aim of the competition was to get teenagers thinking about health and safety at work, and to suggest how they should speak up if they don’t feel safe.
The winners were presented them a collection of the latest iPods and accessories by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Minister for health and safety at the Department for Work and Pensions. Each team will also be spending a day behind the scenes at Pinewood Studios, the ITN News studios and the Houses of Parliament as part of their prize.
IOSH will be turning the first prize entry into a real ad and using it as part of their ongoing campaign to get young people ready for the real world of work.
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.
"By raising awareness of important health and safety issues amongst young people we aim to help them start their working careers safely and prevent the beginnings of long term ill health. Many complaints such as back pain and respiratory disorders develop over a long period of time. By highlighting health and safety risks and good practice early in a person's working life we hope that incidence rates will be reduced overall.”
Stewart Campbell, director of the Health & Safety Executive in Scotland
"Young workers are an often undervalued resource in workplaces and quite often little attention is paid to ensuring the transition from education to full or part time employment covers adequate health and safety induction and the need for ongoing training.”
Terry Anderson, STUC