Young Workers

Archive 24

In the news Law in action In quotes Archive»


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


Championing asbestos awareness

Three young apprentices are helping to publicise the dangers of asbestos in a bid to raise awareness amongst young workers.

As part of its Asbestos: The Hidden Killer campaign, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recruited the three apprentices to become ‘Asbestos Young Champions’. Charley, Richard and Daisy took part in the production of a Hidden Killer video and learned about what asbestos is, why exposure to it can be dangerous and the risks to look out for.

In an interview on the Hidden Killer website, the champions give their views on the issue and how it can be tailored to a younger audience.

Listen to the interview at:




Advice for young farmers

HSE is offering safety guidance to agricultural students in an attempt to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on the UK’s farms.

Although agriculture employs less than 1.5% of the working population, it accounts for around 20% of work-related deaths every year. 26 workers lost their lives during 2008/09.

As part of its Make the promise. Come home safe campaign, HSE has visited several agricultural colleges to explain the dangers to the next generation of farmers and give advice on how to reduce the risks.

HSE Inspector Lawrence Murray said: "The idea is to stamp out bad working habits before they begin. Tractors, complex machinery, lifting and carrying heavy loads, as well as working from heights, all make the farm a hazardous environment where workers need to take extra care."

Find out more at:



Website seeks young worker advice

A new website is calling on young people to upload their own career advice to give a fresh perspective on the world of work.

Lifetracks, run by charity Youthnet, aims to help young people with the issues and decisions that surround jobs, study and training. There are a huge range of resources available on the site, including video and audio clips, written advice and useful links. Users are invited to film and upload their own words of wisdom, as well as to take part in a blog or discussion board.

As well as advice on money, job hunting, work experience and qualifications, Lifeworks has a section on your health at work which includes advice on health and safety law, bullying at work, night shifts, depression and work-life balance.

Access the site at:



Waking up to the dangers of carbon monoxide

The HSE has started a new campaign to inform young people of the risks of gas appliances in rented accommodation.

Will you wake up? aims to make you, your parents and your landlord aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by gas appliances that have not been checked or maintained properly.

You cannot see, smell or taste carbon monoxide but it can cause death within just a few hours. Last year alone, 15 people died and 234 suffered major injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK.

If you live in rented accommodation, your landlord is legally required to have any gas appliance checked at least once a year by a Gas Safe Register engineer and also to issue you with a copy of the gas safety certificate following the inspection. If they fail to do this, you should contact HSE.

Another way to ensure that you are safe is to install a carbon monoxide alarm, but this should only be used as a back-up precaution and not an alternative to proper safety checks.

For more details, including guidance on staying safe, visit:



Lifejacket warning

New research has revealed that many people do not wear a lifejacket because they underestimate the risk of falling into the water and do not realise how dangerous it can be.

As part of its awareness campaigns to encourage those on the water for work or pleasure to wear a lifejacket, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) commissioned the study to find out why so many fail to wear this life-saving equipment.

The research suggested that many of those who go out onto the water did not believe there was a high risk of falling in and as a result, felt that a lifejacket was unnecessary.

In addition, a large proportion of people believed that if they did fall into the water without a lifejacket, then they would be able to climb out easily or survive for a long time. There was a general lack of awareness of the dangers of cold water shock, which can cause increased blood pressure and a rise in heart rate.

Geoff Matthews, HM Coastguard Search and Rescue Operations Officer, said: “Lifejackets are lifesavers. No-one intends to end up in the water, but as we all know, accidents can happen at any time in any weather. Good training and common sense help, but the facts are that several people’s lives could be saved every year if they wore a correctly fitting, well maintained lifejacket. We urge everyone going afloat, working around water or fishing to wear their lifejacket. Lifejackets are useless unless worn.”



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


“The next generation who will become the workforce of tomorrow need to be prepared for the workplace. If young people grow up in an artificial cotton wool environment they will enter the world of work risk naïve and, in short, a liability to their future employers.”

Judith Hackitt, HSE Chair


“We seem to have developed a national hypocrisy on health and safety which needs to be re-examined. People are not surprised to see earthquakes, helicopter crashes or swine flu make the headlines but would only rarely, if they paused for thought, describe these events as health and safety issues.

“The use of NHS resources, how well we prepare our children for adulthood through the education system or the proliferation of alcohol abuse are all subjects which raise serious, intense debate but the links are rarely made with the underlying subject, which is only described in derisive terms.”

Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA Chief Executive


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