Work experience girl Paige is on her way up

8 Dec

15-year-old Paige Purewal (above, showing  good handrail use) from Harlington Community School is spending two weeks on work experience with the British Safety Council. Here, she gives us her thoughts on our own health and safety induction and a young person’s view on Speak Up, Stay Safe.

This is my first work experience placement and it is a pleasure to be working with the British Safety Council. Prior to my placement I did not have much knowledge of the British Safety Council and what my roles as a part of the team would be. Before we were sent off for our two weeks of work experience we had a presentation from our teacher on health and safety in the work place. It was just a simple presentation that did not go into much detail. I don’t think many students were aware of the dangers in and around their work place beforehand and it didn’t cross their minds.

I came into work on the first day via the underground and had arrived early to get a grasp of my surroundings. When I arrived at the building I was met by Rosie who gave me a health and safety induction. She took me around the building and showed me fire exits, extinguishers, smoking shelters and a meeting point in case of a fire; there was also a way of walking down the stairs safely to prevent injury, which is to have one hand free to grab the railings if needed.

This induction, which is the first I have received, made me feel safe in my workplace as I knew they were concerned about every member’s health and safety. I had spoken to a friend who had said that, in her work experience, they had sat in a room without supervision to watch a health and safety video, so there was no guarantee for the employer that they had taken in the information. In my opinion, that was not the right way to inform young people about the dangers in a workplace, especially one they are not familiar with.

Speak Up, Stay Safe is a great campaign to inform young people about the working environment and how to stay safe. Many young people use social networking such as facebook and twitter and this is a good way to get the message across. Although I think there needs to be more publicity as this is something young people would be interested to know about.

With the knowledge I received from other employees during the induction process, I have gained a better understanding of the British Safety Council and feel I am in an environment which cares for health and safety of the staff. Everyone has made me feel very welcome and knowing the fears of entering a working environment for the first time there is a great effort to make me feel welcome.

I have been told the right way to do a specific job and if I am unsure about something I can ask a member of staff to help. From finding out about the work of the British Safety Council and what they offer I will recommend my school to take part in the free level 1 health and safety qualification for future students who are going to undertake work experience.

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