MPs call for school health and safety training to cut deaths of young workers

Health and safety at work should be taught as part of the national curriculum to tackle the “shocking” numbers of young people being killed at work, according to MPs.

An influential group of politicians recommended teaching basic health and safety awareness at schools and colleges to highlight workplace dangers to teenagers.

In the past decade, 64 workers under the age of 19 have been killed, and more than 15,000 seriously injured in workplace accidents.

Labour MP Michael Clapham, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health, is pushing for the government to introduce mandatory health and safety teaching for young people.

“These figures are a shocking indictment of some employers’ attitudes to their workers – an attitude that isn’t acceptable in the 21st century,” he said. “I want to see what [the government] can do to help prevent further loss of young lives when they enter the workplace.”

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health has produced a workplace hazard awareness course that is already being used by about 2,000 schools and colleges.

Clapham has tabled a parliamentary motion, supported by MPs of all parties, calling for such courses to be used by all secondary schools.

A report by the British Safety Council in April found that two-thirds of workers had little or no safety training, and half of organisations had not offered it.

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