Young Workers

Archive No. 9

In the news Law in action In quotes Archive»

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


EU Factsheet - Mainstreaming occupational safety and health into education

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has published a new report, Mainstreaming occupational safety and health into education: Good practice in school and vocational education.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of good practice examples from across Europe and outlines steps toward a systematic strategy to integrate occupational safety and health (OSH) into education and training.

To see the factsheet summarising the report, click here

Focus on youth

In support of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All 2007, Equality South West, in conjunction with the Commission for Equality and Human Rights and the Department for Work and Pensions, hosted a conference entitled European Year of Equal Opportunities for All Conference - Focus on Youth, in Exeter at the end of last year.

The conference provided delegates with an opportunity to discuss issues affecting young people and allowed them to feed their views into a report based on the findings of the day, which will be sent to the European Union.

For details contact Abbie Pepperell, Equality South West Office Manager 01823 250 833.

Cancer resource on YouTube

Top UK toxicologist Professor Vyvyan Howard has taken awareness-raising on occupational and environmental cancer out to the YouTube generation.

Two video clips warn that what you breathe, swallow and touch at work and where you live can seriously affect your chances of developing cancer - and this risk has increased dramatically as a consequence of industrialisation.

Click to view Part One or Part Two

Young workers told to 'speak out'

Students have been warned to speak out against safety shy bosses.

Denise Kitchener, chief executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), said students should “speak up and stay safe,” so that deaths and injuries can be avoided. The organisation is also calling on employers to push health and safety to the top of their agenda, and make sure part-time and temporary workers are trained and supervised in the same way as permanent staff.

See the APIL news release here

Healthy hands on national hairdressers’ day

The hairdressing industry is characterised by a young workforce, with over 50% of hairdressing staff aged between 16 and 34, and 83% of recruits aged under 26.

In support of National Hairdressers’ Day 2007, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlighted some simple precautions that can prevent dermatitis, a painful skin condition that occurs when the protective layer of the skin is broken leading to redness, irritation, cracking and blistering. Hairdressers are particularly vulnerable because of frequent exposure to products like shampoos or hair-dye and prolonged wet-work, and over half of Great Britain’s hairdressers will suffer from dermatitis at some point during their career.

To read the advice, click here

Families whose children were killed at work speak out

Parents whose children have died at in three separate workplace incidents gave speeches at the Centre for Corporate Accountability (CCA) conference on Corporate Manslaughter in November 2007. The three families told how they felt let down by state bodies entrusted to investigate and prosecute for the offence of manslaughter.

The three speakers were Dorothy Wright, whose 37 year old son Mark was burnt to death in April 2005 when his employer told him to crush aerosols, that unknown to him were filled with butane; Linda Whelan, whose 23 year old son Craig burnt to death in 2002 when dismantling an industrial chimney; and Mick Murphy, whose 18 year old son Lewis was burnt to death when flammable gasses ignited in a garage in 2004.

To read the speeches, see the CCA website

Young employees most vulnerable to stress

Young employees (18-24 years) are most vulnerable to stress, with 38% feeling less likely than all other age groups to talk openly to their managers and 57% unable to talk to colleagues. 48% are more likely to be bullied by clients and customers, whereas over half of other age groups reported being bullied by their managers.

These are part of the key findings of a Samaritans' survey for Stress Down Day, taking place on Friday February 1st; a national campaign to encourage people to take better care of their health at work and reduce currently damaging stress levels.

For more details, see


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

“Many young people are afraid to speak out even if they feel their safety is at risk. They may worry about losing their jobs or getting into trouble with the boss, but they have a right to go to work and be safe.”
Denise Kitchener, Chief Executive APIL


“Unscrupulous employers should be sent to prison and treated like the criminals that they are, and the courts need to do more to put them in prison rather than give out fines of up to 14,000 pounds.”

Mick Murphy, founder member of Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK)


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