June is one of the busiest months in the school calendar for work experience and while offering young people an invaluable education, many will be unprepared to enter a different environment. The consequences of which could be devastating for families across the UK.
Every 40 minutes a young person is seriously injured in the workplace. The British Safety Council position is simple. Talk to your children; make sure they understand the risks that they could face in unfamiliar surroundings. As parents, teachers and employers we need to be socially responsible and educate them.
As Anthea Dennis, a mother whose son tragically died during his first week at work says of young people: “They are so eager to please and don’t have the experience. If we can do our bit to help raise public awareness of sensible safety and encourage young people to speak up if they feel unsafe, then the world will be a much better place.”
Julie Nerney, British Safety Council chief executive says: “The British Safety Council’s message is that health and safety is about adopting a sensible attitude. It is not about being overprotective or stopping young people from doing everyday tasks. Realistically however young people are more vulnerable if they’re just entering the workplace. The British Safety Council is educating young people through our Speak Up, Stay Safe campaign and a planned series of events like Youth Action Day.”
Emma Wrafter, British Safety Council senior communications manager explains more: “Young people aren’t stupid; often they are just wary of causing a fuss in a new environment. Our Speak Up, Stay Safe campaign gives them the confidence to talk to someone about worries they may have. The Youth Action Day gave them a forum to discuss their views about health and safety and taught us how we can engage with more young people when we re-launch the campaign in the summer.”