Work experience safety risk

Published:  16 March, 2011

SHEFFIELD: Merchants taking on young people for work placements need to be mindful of safety risks associated with inexperienced staff.

A Sheffield contractor has been fined after a schoolboy on work experience fell 2.4m from a ladder. The 15-year-old was one of two students from a school completing a placement with Alan Fleischer Builders Ltd in March 2010.

HSE Inspector Medani Close said: "Young people need special consideration to protect them from risks, particularly those present when working at height, which are well-known in the industry. The employers' risk assessment should have taken all this into account."

During the HSE prosecution, Sheffield Magistrates' Court heard that although the school's work placement organisation had carried out a safety assessment on the building firm, it had not taken place on the site where the incident happened.

HSE said the work placement assessment allowed students to carry out general labouring duties but they were not expected to work at height.

Alan Fleischer Builders of Dinnington was fined £1500 with £1320 in costs after pleading guilty to a charge of failing to ensure the safety of its employees.

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