Norwich Union has joined forces with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to help reduce workplace accidents through awareness and education.

Advice for employers is being posted on a website – www.young-worker.co.uk.

Research commissioned by Norwich Union reveals that 80% of small businesses do not carry out correct health and safety procedures for workers under 18, and 90% of bosses admit they take on young workers even though they don't think the youngsters are fully prepared for the world of work.

Between 1998 and 1999, 21 young people were killed and more than 20,000 suffered injuries at work in Great Britain. And the study highlights the confusion of employers about how to prevent these accidents.

Norwich Union's Dying to Start Work, study also suggests that:

  • Four in five employers blame schools for ill-preparing their pupils for the workplace.
  • 6% of employers say a youngster on work experience or doing a summer job has had an accident in their workplace, one in three of which was serious or required treatment.
  • One in seven employers say they don't have the resources to ensure young people understand health and safety issues at work.
  • A fifth of employers think their young workers are over-confident and arrogant.