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Accidents at Work


Ministers have been urged to put training in place to prevent the "tragic loss" of young workers' lives.

The Labour Party Conference heard that in the last 10 years 64 workers under the age of 19 have been killed in the workplace, and over 15,000 seriously injured.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) told delegates too many employers are failing to induct or supervise young workers adequately.

Employers were also accused of failing to listen to the concerns of teenagers regarding help or training to allow them to do their job safely.

IOSH spokesman Richard Jones said: "This tragic loss of young lives, and the numbers suffering injuries like amputations, broken limbs and severe burns, shows that too many employers are failing to look after their teenage employees properly.

"All businesses should ensure their staff go through a thorough induction process, regardless of their age. But it's particularly important that young workers are closely supervised by more experienced workers - not just left to 'get on with the job'. Young workers are particularly vulnerable."

The organisation also asked the Government to make health and safety training mandatory for all young people before they leave school.

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "I welcome this ministerial drive aimed at reducing the appalling toll of death and injury caused by accidents at work.

"Young workers often are ill equipped to see dangers in the workplace that there older and more experienced Colleagues can.

"I have dealt with far too many cases where young workers have been injured or killed in a work accident."