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British Safety Council launches health and safety campaign aimed at young workers

The British Safety Council has launched a new campaign to encourage young people to take responsibility for their own health and safety in the workplace.

Julie Nerney, British Safety Council chief executive, said: "Every 40 minutes in the UK a young person is seriously injured in the workplace. We think this position is wholly unacceptable. By highlighting to young people that they need to be aware of their environment and speak up if they feel unsafe we hope to significantly reduce this number."

The campaign encourages young people to feel confident in talking to their work supervisor, parent, teacher or friends if they feel that they are in an unsafe situation. No young person should feel pressurised to work in an environment where there is a risk of injury or death.

Neal Stone, head of policy and public affairs for the British Safety Council, added: "In 2009, 3,200 young people between the ages of 16 and 19 were seriously injured while in work. In the past 10 years 66 young workers have been killed in the workplace. These numbers show how important this campaign is, not just for young workers but to those around them - their parents, family members, friends and teachers".

Over the next few weeks the British Safety Council will be promoting the Speak Up, Stay Safe campaign directly to young people through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Specialist tips and advice will be provided through resources, case studies and animation.

In January 2004, Steven Burke was killed on a work placement when he fell more than 50ft from dangerous scaffolding. He felt unsafe in the days leading up to his death but trusted his employer to look after his safety. The British Safety Council wants young people who could find themselves in a similar situation to Steven to Speak Up, Stay Safe. Young people should not be at risk in the workplace.