Safer workplaces for all this National Apprenticeship Week

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This week (6 – 12 February) is National Apprenticeship Week. The 2023 theme is ‘Skills for Life’, highlighting how the expert training offered by an apprenticeship can lead to a rewarding career.

Over 3 million people in Britain have started an apprenticeship since 2015, taking up the opportunity to develop a skill while working. For many industries such as construction, engineering, healthcare, manufacturing and even law, an apprenticeship can be the perfect way to learn a trade.

Apprentices and work accident risks

However, previous research has shown that apprentices are at a greater risk of work accident injuries than the average worker.

Apprentices are a valuable addition to a workplace, but typically they are a lot younger than their colleagues and less skilled and experienced.

This can increase the chance of an accident at work unless the risks are properly addressed. It is therefore vital employers have the right safety and training procedures in place to ensure younger employees are aware of any work accident risks.

The Health and Safety Executive has a dedicated page about considerations an employer should make when assessing the risks a young worker, including an apprentice, poses to themselves or other employees. These include:

  • Strength – It is important to be aware that many apprentices are young people and might still be growing. Many apprentices are often not as physically strong as fully-grown adult workers, and  this must be taken into consideration when they are given certain tasks, including carrying and lifting.
  • Skill – The opportunity to learn a new skill or trade is the core of an apprenticeship, but it takes time. Apprentices are not as skilled at tasks that might seem routine to other workers, and their lack of experience can lead to extra risks. Apprentices should be properly supervised and given full training, including health and safety advice
  • Confidence – Apprentices are often more uncertain and less confident than experienced workers. The HSE highlights that they might be less likely to be able to identify and express concern about any potential risks they come across in the workplace. Providing information and support so that apprentices know how to report issues and dangers where they find them can be beneficial for the safety of all employees.

Compensation after a work injury

Rebecca Brisley is a specialist personal injury solicitor from Novum Law’s Plymouth team. She says:

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to build a skilled career, and we are in full support of National Apprenticeship Week and its aims. However, it can take a while before apprentices are confident and secure at work, and extra care should be taken in the workplace to prevent avoidable accidents and injuries.

“At Novum Law, we see the consequences of work accidents, including serious injuries such as broken bones, head and brain injuries and spinal injuries. Creating a safe workplace for all employees is vital, and will ensure that apprentices get the flying start they deserve.”

If you are an apprentice and have been involved in a work accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our expert team at Novum Law is here to help, and will support you on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis to secure you justice.

For a free, no obligation chat, call us on 0800 884 0777, email or fill out our online form.

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