Last year Iosh issued a draft policy entitled Preparing
Young People for a Safer Working Life. We have had an encouraging response to
the document and positive feedback was received from the HSE, the University
sector, local education authorities, councils, unions, and the police.
The rationale behind the policy was a concern that when
people start work they do not have much experience of life – let alone
experience of work. Iosh identified that the way forward involved an integrated
approach to health and safety education which began in school, continued into
further and higher education, and which linked into the world of work. To help
achieve this, the policy called upon employers to:
– Undertake risk assessments
– Implement induction programmes relevant to the young
person’s role and capabilities
– Maintain closer supervision of young people
– Introduce "mentoring" programmes.
– Encourage a questioning approach on health and safety
By training young people in the formative years to recognise
and challenge unsafe conditions and behaviour, ultimately we will raise
standards of health and safety throughout the world of work. This was
recognised in the Revitalising Health and Safety document recently launched by
the Government. Iosh particularly welcomes this renewed interest in developing
health and safety awareness, which is now on the curriculum in five areas.
Improved understanding at this early stage will provide long-term benefits for
Iosh is now undertaking a further review of its young
persons policy document in the light of Revitalising Health and Safety and is
eager to hear from occupational health professionals.
For a copy of the policy, or to make your suggestions, write
to Neil Budworth, chairman of the Iosh Policy Development Committee, c/o Iosh,
The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1NN.
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
represents 25,000 safety and health professionals in industry, commerce and the
public sector. Tel: 0116-257 3100; www.iosh.co.uk