Do apprentices require stricter safety regulations?

The death of a 16 year old apprentice has brought workplace safety under the microscope. Alfie Perrin fell 30 feet, after being asked to move heavy rubbish bags along the roof of a loft conversion, and to throw them into the skip below.

His family believe that tougher safety regulations should be put in place, to legislate for the lack of experience that most apprentices have.

HSE guidelines state that all businesses should carry out a risk assessment before any work commences, whether that is for an apprentice or a full time worker.

However, Alfie’s father believes his lack of experience mixed with the incorrect safety equipment were the contributing factor to the accident, as he did not have the correct technique to dispose of the bags correctly,

“What you would normally do is get it to shoulder height, as if you were putting a shot. But because Alfie was so small and inexperienced, he’s swung it like a pendulum, let go of the bag, and the weight of the bag took him off the scaffold with the bag.”

The HSE stated, that whilst many of the larger companies had procedures in place which prohibit workers from working without the required training and equipment, some smaller companies were a problem by flouting such safety procedures.

The company who Alfie was working for, Rooftop Rooms have admitted two breaches of Health & Safety and will be sentenced at the end of April.

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