Summer term is approaching – Are you looking to employ a young person?
We are approaching the middle of July when all the students in Y11 are eager to drop their school bags and leave for pastures new.
Exciting times lay ahead for 16-year-olds, getting a taste for working life seeking work experience. The most favoured route of progression is to attain an apprenticeship; allowing young workers to gain valuable experience and learning whilst earning a wage.
What is a young person?
A young person is anyone under the age of 18.
What does this mean for you as an employer?
If you are an employer and are looking to employ a young person under the age of 18, whether that may be for work experience, permanent work or as an apprentice, you have a responsibility to protect the young person from harm.
By law, every employer must ensure so far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and well-being of all their employees. Although, with young persons, employers must make special consideration to ensure they are not put at risk. Significant risks should already be managed in the workplace, however, this may need to be reassessed should a young person be joining the organisation as they are a vulnerable worker. For higher risk environments such as construction, demolition, manufacturing or agricultural where a young person may be exposed to risks such as hazardous substances, working at height and extreme temperatures the employer must take more care to ensure the risks are properly controlled – these risks should ALREADY be controlled!
Young persons are a vulnerable worker due to lack of experience, maturity and more importantly unaware of existing and potential risks in the workplace
A suitable and sufficient risk assessment should include work equipment; how will they handle the equipment, exposure to hazardous substances, risks from processes related to the work involved and how they are organised, the layout of the workplace, traffic management – this list is not exhaustible.
The young person should receive a full health and safety induction prior to starting any work. This should include the do’s & don’ts of a young worker – the employer may decide to restrict the worker from particular processes for their own safety – this should be specified in the induction. Clear instruction, training and supervision will help prevent the young person from putting themselves or others at risk.
The HSE website offers some useful guidance on this topic – http://www.hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/index.htm
Please do not hesitate to contact Northern Safety Ltd if you require further advice on young workers.