Employers responsibility for their young workers

Employers have the same responsibility for the health, safety and welfare of young ​workers, (under 18 years of age) whether they are engaged as employees or work experience placements (students), as they have to the rest of their workforce. 

Equally, it is applicable to persons classed as a "child" who is yet to attain Minimum School Leaving Age (MSLA) where the employer offers school work experience through a recognised scheme. 

Under Health and Safety Law, employers must assess the risks to young people before they commence work and  advise them what these risks are. For MSLA students, this information must also be imparted to the parents/guardian together with information on the control measures put in place.

  • Specific risks often associated with young persons include;
  • Lack of experience and awareness of risks
  • Work beyond their physical capability
  • Exposure to substances harmful to human health
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Extreme heat, noise and vibration

It is important that all young persons receive induction training, especially during the first few weeks of their employment or work experience which includes; site rules, prohibited equipment, machinery, fire procedure and precautions, welfare arrangements, first aid arrangements and details of ongoing training programmes, introduction to colleagues and line managers and supervision arrangements.

 

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