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Young People 'At Risk' In Workplace

Health And Safety Management


The health and safety of young people in the workplace could be improved, according to a report which suggests ways health and safety can be managed at policy and practice level.

The report, by The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), suggests that people between the ages of 15 and 24 are more at risk of harm at work than other age groups.

This is because they lack training, maturity and experience, and are less aware of the risks involved in the workplace. The report also suggests that young workers know less about their rights regarding health and safety, and may be unwilling to speak up if they think their rights are being abused.

EU-OSHA argues that the majority of risks to younger workers are preventable by applying the principles of risk assessment and putting in place the necessary preventive measures.

The report - Preventing risks to young workers: policy, programmes and workplace practices - includes case studies of good practice and also identifies some of the factors governing the success of workplace occupational health policies and schemes aimed at managing the safety of young people.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

<http://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/reports/TE-30-08-760-EN-C_prevention_young-workers/view> (Report: Preventing risks to young workers: policy, programmes and workplace practices )

<http://osha.europa.eu/en> (The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work)

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “Whilst I of course welcome anything that highlights the risks of young workers being injured or killed in an accident at work, this report really tells us nothing new. It highlights the risks to young workers which have been known for many years.

“Despite knowledge of these risks, I still regularly see young workers sustain injuries in a work accident in circumstances which could and should have been avoided.

“What is required is more stringent regulation and enforcement to ensure protection of young workers who by their age and immaturity are at greater risk of suffering injury in an accident at work.”