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Young workers lives at risk in small firms results in new advisory website.


Teenage workers lives are being put at risk because small businesses are breaking health and safety laws, says a new report today.

In a survey of 500 firms by insurance company Norwich Union, it was revealed that most small firms are not carrying out proper and health and safety procedures for workers aged under 18. Many of the businesses admitted that they don't believe that teenagers are ready for the world of work. Eighty per cent of the employers blamed schools for not preparing pupils for the workplace.

Of the 500 firms surveyed, six per cent said that a teenager on work experience, or carrying out work as part of a summer job, had been involved in an accident. A third of the accidents were considered serious requiring treatment.

Teresa Budworth, spokesperson for Norwich Union, said, "youngsters have a right to feel safe, whatever job they are doing, and we must all strive to ensure they are adequately protected as they enter the world of work for the first time."

Norwich Union said that it had joined forces with the Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents (RoSPA) to try to cut the number of workplace accidents.

A new website has been launched giving advice and information to young workers to try to help prevent them from being involved in accidents. The address for the site is


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