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Apprentices at Risk of Work-Related Injury

Apprentices are at greater risk of work-based injury than the average worker, new research from Direct Line for Business has found.

The study found that, on average, there are 13,000 cases of non-fatal injuries among employees aged 16-18 every year, which amounts to 3.6% of all workers in this age group. Across the entire workforce there are some 649,000 non-fatal injuries each year, affecting 2.1% of all employees.

According to Direct Line, this means that, while apprentices only account for one in 50 accidents, they are 73% more likely to be involved in an incident due to the smaller number of apprentices in employment.

However, the average of 6,000 incidences of work-related illness every year among young employees, affecting 1.6% of all young workers, is much lower than the 3.9% recorded amongst workers aged 19 or over.  This analysis suggests apprentices are much less likely to report illness to their employer whilst on placement.

Over the past three years a total of £815,960 has apparently been issued in fines to businesses as a result of workplace injuries affecting apprentices or young employees, with the average fine standing at more than £26,000.

“The data suggests that apprentices are keen to make the most of their opportunity, with much lower sickness rates than their full-time counterparts,” commented Nick Breton, Head of Direct Line for Business. “However, the research indicates that apprentices are at greater risk of injury in the workplace so it is therefore vital for employers to have the right safety and training procedures in place to help ensure younger employees are aware of any risks.”

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