An inquiry into the health and safety arrangements of apprentices will be carried out by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to ensure trainees stay safe at work.
The safety charity’s National Occupational Safety and Health Committee (NOSHC) is initiating the investigation to make sure apprentices are given the right training and development opportunities in a bid to save lives and reduce injuries.
Dr Karen McDonnell, RoSPA’s occupational health and safety policy adviser, said: “It is vital that all apprentices are given the kind of training and development opportunities that will equip them with the right skills to not only stay safe and healthy in the workplace, but to allow them to become effective health and safety leaders.
“It is also important for people who organise apprenticeships to have suitable regard to the supervision and training of apprentices as their lack of experience and enthusiasm can make them more at risk than other workers, which is why the NOSHC committee is initiating an inquiry.The onus is on the employer to keep apprentices healthy and safe at work.”
Apprentices, particularly if they are young, are likely to be more at risk than other workers due to a lack of experience and trained judgement, and the inquiry will look into how well organisations meet their objectives for apprentices, where the gaps are and whether they are learning lessons from accidents and injuries.
More than 100,000 employers in over 200,000 workplaces in England offer apprenticeships covering more than 170 industries in sectors including nursing and graphic design.