Every week twenty tradesmen die because they have breathed in asbestos fibres during the course of their work, but recent research conducted by the Health and Safety Executive shows young tradesmen, such as plumbers and electricians, know asbestos is dangerous but just don't believe they are personally at risk.
The risk of asbestos in the workplace is the message of a new Health and Safety Executive campaign, Asbestos – the hidden killer.
For further information about the campaign visit HSE's absestos site
As part of the campaign, HSE has launched a web video featuring a carpenter diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. It can be seen here
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is calling on the Government to ensure that funding for health and safety training is included in its plan to fund £60 million of training in order to get people back to work.
Richard Jones, IOSH policy and technical director, said, "We’re pleased that the Chancellor has set aside a sum to help provide people with the training they need to return to work. However, we would emphasise the need for vocational training and apprenticeships to also cover the essential health and safety elements, to help inform future decision-makers and to upskill and protect tomorrow’s workforce.
“We’re still very keen to see a firm commitment from the Government on the education of young people in health and safety. Tragically, 64 under-19s have been killed in the workplace in the last 10 years and almost 15,000 seriously injured. “
Read the full comment at the IOSH website
A new Government report focussing on the health of the working age population includes recommendations on informing young people about how to identify healthy workplaces.
Launching the report, national director for health and work Dame Carol Black said its proposals focus on keeping people healthy at work, and also on helping them return to work if they get ill. Chapter 8 ‘The next generation’ focuses particularly on issues surrounding young adults and children.
The report can be read here
A new RoSPA road safety film which aims to raise awareness of the risks faced by people who drive as part of their job, is now available to watch online at:
The film uses case studies to highlight ‘typical’ at-work driver profiles, including a young sales rep. It is hoped it will stimulate discussion about many common road safety issues faced by at-work drivers and their managers, including driver sleepiness, speed, distraction and aggression.
From April 2008 the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 extended to include workers in the music and entertainment sectors, and the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) has asked young designers to come up with new styles of earplug that could be worn without stigma in nightclubs and at concerts.
Research by the charity indicates young people are reluctant to wear earplugs because they look too 'medical,' are aesthetically unappealing, socially unacceptable and only available on specialist websites.
A lot of young people think they don't need to wear earplugs, but good quality earplugs don't block hearing; they attenuate the sound – meaning that the decibel level reaching the ear is reduced, while you can still hear the music you are listening to.
RNID has joined forces with leading design consultancies to award internships to industrial design students who produce the most exciting designs.
Read more about the RNID campaign here
For advice about Noise Regs in the music & entertainment industry, see www.soundadvice.info
Safety campaigners are warning that many young people could die as a result of new Government policy encouraging youngsters to pursue vocational training in high-risk industries such as construction.
The Government has given the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) extra funding to double the number of apprentices in the Apprenticeship programme, and teenagers as young as 16 are expected to enter industry in large numbers to learn work skills as part of their continuing education.
RoSPA members can read the story online through the Members’ Zone. Non-members should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a copy of the story.
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.
“Securing the future health of the working age population must start with those not yet of working age. We should encourage young people to understand the benefits of a life in work and what a healthy workplace offers so they can make an informed decision about the organisations for which they choose to work.“
Dame Carol Black’s Working for a healthier tomorrow report
"Every week six electricians and three plumbers die as a result of exposure to asbestos. The problem today is that people regard asbestos as something only a previous generation were exposed to, but there is a real risk that the younger generation entering the workforce will think this does not apply to them - but it does.”
Judith Hackitt, chair of the Health and Safety Commission
“With the number of apprentices in the workplace set to increase, it is critical that the work they are expected to carry out has been properly assessed and suitable controls put in place to ensure their health and safety. Managers and supervisors have to recognise that youngsters fresh to the workplace may well have a limited perception of the risks involved in the work.”
Stephen Williams, HSE chief inspector of construction