Health and safety law states that employers must ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all employees. However, there are considerations that specifically apply to employing young people.
- The most important piece of information is that a young person is legally defined as being anyone under 18.
- You have a legal responsibility to ensure that young workers are not exposed to risks due to their lack of experience, maturity or risk awareness.
- In doing this, the factors you need to consider include:
- - The handling of equipment
- - Any biological or chemical agents they may be exposed to
- - The layout of the work environment
- - The level of training required
- Always consider whether the young worker is physically able to perform the task. Are they able to lift or reach the required equipment?
- Always remember that young workers have a lack of training and attention to safety. A risk that you may think appears obvious, may not be to a young worker.
- Providing appropriate supervision will help you identify training needs and allow you to make additional adjustments.
- Always inform parents or guardians of the possible risks and the control measures you have in place. There is no set way of doing this, so it can be done in writing or verbally.
- Young people have different employment rights from adult workers. You can visit the government website to find out more.
Top Tip: Keep it real.
Stats and slides have their place, but often real life stories are the best way to get your point across. There’s nothing wrong with tugging on the heartstrings to make your point.