With millions of students preparing to embark on work experience or their first jobs in the coming weeks and months, schools across the UK are being urged to take advantage of special offers on a British Safety Council qualification that teaches 14-19 year olds how to stay safe and healthy at work.
Research shows that workers are far more likely to be injured in accidents in the first six months of a new job, and young people can be particularly at risk due to factors such as their unfamiliarity with hazards, a lack of physical capability and a reluctance to raise concerns. The number of young people killed and injured in the workplace remains disproportionately high. A young worker is 50% more likely to have an accident than an older worker.
The British Safety Council’s Entry Level Award in Workplace Hazard Awareness is specifically designed for 14-19 year olds and builds students’ awareness of important health and safety issues before they embark on work experience or their first job. Schools are being encouraged to take this up for the academic year 2014/15 with a number of offers until 31 October 2014 including a waiver of centre and qualification approval fees.
Alex Botha, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, said: “The British Safety Council’s vision is that no one should be injured or made ill at work and it is a priority to reduce the risks young people face in the workplace. In the UK last year 148 people died at work, 21,000 were seriously injured and around 27 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury. Workplace injuries and ill health cost society at least an estimated £13.8 billion annually.
“We recognise that safety is about people and education is essential. Our Ofqual-accredited qualification teaches young people how to keep themselves and their co-workers healthy and safe and encourages them to speak up if they have concerns about the hazards they are facing. I urge every school and academy across the UK to take advantage of our affordable way to educate young people to help prevent them from being killed, injured and made ill at work.”