Employers are being urged to pay extra attention to the health and safety of young people hired for temporary, summer work.
The British Safety Council says workers are far more likely to be injured in workplace accidents during the first few months of a new job than at any other time, which is especially true for inexperienced young people.
Alex Botha, chief executive at the British Safety Council says the risk of injury to young workers can be easily prevented by taking some simple steps.
He said: “Vacation jobs are a great way for young people to earn money, get some experience and develop skills but we know they can be particularly vulnerable when they start work. There are many reasons for this: a general lack of work experience; unfamiliarity with the workplace, machinery or work processes; a lack of physical capability to do the job or the confidence to raise concerns; a failure of employers to provide the necessary training and familiarisation.”
He added that leadership is key in preventing injury to a young person at the start of their working life.
Mr Botha said: “The first step is to plan ahead and establish what the risks are - risks from lifting, working at height, using machinery, moving around the site, inhalation of dust, are the most common ones. Then using the knowledge of experienced staff decide how best to control these risks including through the provision of relevant training. Do check that young people have understood what they have been taught.”
The British Safety Council has a dedicated website with resources freely available to employers at www.britsafe.org/speakupstaysafe