Pay extra attention to safety of summer workers

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Young and temporary workers are at risk in factories over the summer
Young and temporary workers are at risk in factories over the summer

Related tags Young people Health

Food manufacturers have been warned to pay extra attention to young and temporary workers hired for summer work, as they are more likely to be injured at work than experienced employees.

The British Safety Council said although vacation jobs were a great way for young people to earn money, gain experience and develop skills they were particularly vulnerable in the workplace.

“Sensible risk education is crucial to achieve the British Safety Council’s vision that nobody is injured or made ill at work,” ​the council’s chief executive Alex Both said.


“Of course employers working with young people doing summer jobs have duties to keep workers safe and well. Employers also have an opportunity to communicate the importance and basic principles of health and safety to young people as they start their working lives.”

Young people can benefit from the lessons learnt during summer work take them with them to their next job and beyond, Both claimed.

“In doing so they can keep themselves and their co-workers healthy and safe while having the confidence to speak up if they have concerns about the hazards they are facing,”​ he added.

In many cases lack of information, work experience and confidence are to blame for young people being injured or falling ill at work.

To remedy this the British Safety Council has set up a dedicated website to educate young people on the potential dangers at work.

The campaign – called Speak Up, Stay Safe’ – h​ighlights the particular risks that young people face and puts good communication at the heart of good health and safety.

‘Strongly advise’

“We have worked closely with schools and have provided resources to help them develop hazard awareness among young people​,” Both said. “I strongly advise employers to check out the resources we have made freely available and take this opportunity to help build safety and wellbeing cultures for the future.”

Fact sheets on the law and good practice, top tips on working with young people, as well as videos (see below) and links to organisations like the Health and Safety Executive are freely available here.

Salad firm Valley Grown Nurseries was recently fined £30,000 after a worker fractured her skull​ when she jumped from a runaway mobile working platform.

Last week, food packaging firm Rillatech Limited was ordered to pay more than £33,000 after one of its workers suffered a severed finger​ while trying to unblock a poorly guarded machine.

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