Young Workers

Are you looking after your young workers? 

With more and more apprentices in placements up and down the country, it is vital that young workers are looked after properly.

As an employer you have the same responsibility for young workers (under 18 years old) health, safety and welfare as you do with workers over the age of 18.

Under health and safety law you must assess the risks to young people before they start work and advise them of the risks involved.

If you are employing a young person for the first time, you will need to review their risk assessment and take in to account the specific factors for young people before they start work. This can be really straightforward for a low-risk business, e.g. an office.

For higher-risk industries such as construction, manufacturing or agriculture, the risks are likely to be higher and will need careful attention to ensure they are properly controlled.

As an employer you should:

  • Make arrangements to manage the risks – including induction, supervision, site familiarisation and provision of any protective equipment needed.
  • Employers with more than 5 employees are required to have a written risk assessment

Under the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, an employer has a responsibility to ensure that young people employed are not exposed to risk due to:

  • Lack of experience
  • Being unaware of existing or potential risks and/or
  • Lack of maturity

An employer must consider:

  • The layout of the workplace
  • The physical, biological and chemical agents they will be exposed to
  • How they will handle work equipment
  • How the work and processes are organised
  • Risks from particular agents, processes and work
  • The extent of health and safety training needed

Employers also need to consider whether the work the young person will do:

  • Is beyond their physical or psychological capacity
  • Involves harmful exposure to substances that are toxic or can be damaging to their health
  • Involves harmful exposure to radiation
  • Involves risk of accidents that cannot reasonably be recognised or avoided by young people due to their insufficient attention to safety or lack or experience or training
  • Has a risk to health from extreme cold, heat, noise or vibration

 Here are some HSE news stories related to young workers:

Do you need any health & safety support? Contact us today 01283 760802


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