Young workers face higher accident risk

Young workers must be taken care of over the Christmas season as they are more accident prone, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has warned.

Young people are twice as likely to have an accident as older colleagues, according to IOSH figures. Between 1996 and 2001 more than 12,500 young people were seriously injured in UK workplaces and 54 people under the age of 18 were killed at work.

With Christmas approaching and many employers looking to take on additional staff to cope with the seasonal business surge, young people are particularly vulnerable, the institution said.

Neil Budworth, IOSH president, said: “Young people play a major part in keeping our economy sustainable and our services running, particularly during the busy festive season. Employers must look after their health and safety, as they do for their other workers and not just look on them as ‘more pairs of hands’.”


“This means not putting unreasonable work demands on young people and preventing them endangering themselves or others,” he said.

He called on employers to train young people in the basics of workplace health and safety, supervise them and, where possible, team them up with a workplace ‘buddy’ or mentor.

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