Companies planning on taking apprentices on would be wise to prioritise health and safety for their new employees given new research from Direct Line for Business revealing, that 13,000 non-fatal injuries to apprentices aged between 16 and 18 happen in the workplace each year.
It was found that although apprentices only account for one in 50 accidents at work, they are actually 73 per cent more likely to be involved in an incident because of the smaller number of apprentices in work.
However, it was also revealed that 1.6 per cent of all young workers record incidents of work-related illnesses each year, below the 3.9 per cent among workers over the age of 19… which suggests that apprentices are less likely to tell their employers about an illness while they’re on a placement.
Head of Direct line for Business Nick Breton commented: “The data suggests that apprentices are keen to make the most of their opportunity, with much lower sickness rates than their full-time counterparts. However, the research indicates that apprentices are at greater risk of injury in the workplace so it is therefore vital for employers to have the right safety and training procedures in place to help ensure younger employees are aware of any risks.
“Work related illnesses such as respiratory disease, stress and pain in the body’s joints can also be avoided so it is vital for employers to have the right health and safety measures in place to reduce the number of people affected.”
In the last three years, £815,960 has been issued in fines to companies because of apprentice or young employee workplace injuries, with the average fine reaching above £26,000. As such, if you don’t already have emergency response training in place should an incident occur, now would be a good time to consider putting some framework and processes in place. This will help your employees to reduce risk in the workplace and avoid running into trouble at work.
Apprentices are often more vulnerable to injuries and accidents because they have far less experience of working in a dangerous and high-risk environment. This means that employers need to really make sure they follow workplace health and safety regulations, whether that’s good manual handling practice or the prevention of slips, trips and falls.
Training is also obviously of paramount importance and it’s important for businesses to note that if apprentices are injured as a result of inadequate training, they may seek legal advice. The duty to ensure training is carried out effectively lies with you as a business and you will need to record what has been done and ask members of staff to confirm that they full understand their responsibilities.
To find out more about health and safety in the workplace, and what you can do to make improvements in this regard, get in touch with us at HFR Solutions CIC today.