Recently, we shared a story about taking our training courses virtual. During this remote course, we simply felt inspired by seeing the young apprentices getting stuck in. Mick Brennan, Health & Safety Manager, had the pleasure of the running the course that day. He said “it’s fantastic to see young people getting involved in health and safety at such an early stage in their career; this sets the tone for how they look at risk for the rest of their working lives”.
So, this got us to thinking about the importance of teaching young people about occupational safety and health (OSH). Surely, a great start would be to teach them these skills today. As a result, they’ll gain invaluable knowledge for the now and can only build upon this experience as they carry it into adulthood for the future.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) are also keen supporters of offering OSH education. ROSPA define it as gaining “specific knowledge, skills and understanding” which young people will need “to stay safe in a given situation”. Their main argument is that we need to prepare young people for “the world outside of school, now and in the future” – and we couldn’t agree more!
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) have also said that “integrating OSH into education improved young people’s risk intelligence and could generate interest in an OSH career”. The reality is that quite often, when young people are new to work environments, they face a greater risk of injury due to lack of training and inexperience… we can help prevent that.
Lisa Anderson, one of our Health & Safety Consultants, added “young people have less perception of risk, simply because they haven’t ever experienced what happens in a workplace before. That’s why giving them a base knowledge of good health and safety practice far reduces the chance that something will go wrong and ultimately reduces the chances of a workplace incident”.
As a result, IOSH call for education and training systems to cover OSH in national, vocational and professional curricula. It also supports competence and leads the International Social Security Association Section on Education and Training for Prevention.
To get the ball rolling, we’re sharing some great steps from IOSH on improving OSH education:
- Include hazard and risk education on teacher training courses.
- Incorporate OSH education across university curriculums to prepare students for the world of work.
- Provide learning flexibility for OSH students – for example, one day a week in a classroom for distance learners.
- Introduce OSH career opportunities in the final year of secondary school and place more emphasis on apprenticeships and placements.
- More support from IOSH and senior OSH professionals to help students at IOSH-accredited universities to gain practical experience.
Excerpt from IOSH Magazine, January 2021.
Students, apprentices or trainee employees… we’re here for you! At EP Risk Consultancy, we fully believe in the importance of teaching young people about health and safety. To support your own bright sparks, some of the courses we recommend include IOSH Working Safely, Qualsafe Level 1 & 2 in Health & Safety and First Aid at Work.
If you’re not sure what’s best for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a no obligation chat.