MPs call for action over

Published:  30 November, 1999

A growing number of MPs from all political parties are calling for a Parliamentary debate and government action over the number of deaths and injuries of young people in the workplace.

Over the last decade 14,500 teenagers were seriously injured at work and 66 killed. To help prevent these unnecessary deaths and injuries, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has produced a six point action plan, Putting young workers first. The plan calls on the Government to make the new Workplace hazard awareness course for year 10 pupils, developed by IOSH and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) a mandatory part of every curriculum.

The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, voiced his support for the plan during Prime Minister's Question Time recently: "The HSE and IOSH are absolutely right to bring forward a plan that will help to make young people more aware of the potential hazards in the workplace."

Echoing the Prime Minister"s concerns, 89 MPs across all parties have signed up to  Early Day Motion 254, Protecting Young People in the Workplace, that calls on the Government to make the workplace hazard awareness course for year 10 pupils a mandatory part of every curriculum. 

Michael Clapham MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health, sponsored the Early Day Motion, and is calling for a debate about the issue in the House of Commons: "The large number of deaths and injuries of teenagers in the workplace is an appalling tragedy, involving wasted young lives and misery. But all this is preventable. Young people at the beginning of their working lives, through lack of life experience and health and safety training are particularly vulnerable to workplace hazards. Protecting the vulnerable is an essential mark of a civilised society. IOSH’s proposed measures are a practical solution to this issue which I strongly support.”

IOSH President Lisa Fowlie said: “This is an issue that deserves to be debated at the highest level. We will continue to press for action from government, educators and employers to ensure that the workers of tomorrow are able to lead a full, fit and happy life.”

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