- A young person is defined as someone under the age of 18 years.
- A child is someone under the official minimum school leaving age (approximately 16 years old).
Young Person Risk AssessmentsIf you have any employees under the age of 18, you need to carry out Risk Assessments taking into consideration:
- The young person’s lack of experience, their unawareness of risks and immaturity.
- The workplace layout.
- The physical, biological and chemical agents they will be exposed to.
- Work equipment.
- How the work and processes are organised.
- The amount of Health and Safety training needed.
- If the work is beyond the young person’s physical or psychological capacity.
- If the work involves exposure to harmful substances or radiation.
- If the work involves risks of accidents that young people cannot recognise due to their lack of experience.
- If there is a risk from extreme cold or heat, noise or vibration.
Employing Young People - Training and SupervisionYoung people need clear information, instruction and training. In addition to the basic induction training given to all employees, the employer must identify and make the young person or child aware of the specific issues that might affect them. Emphasis will also be required on issues such as horseplay and practical jokes. Employers need to ensure that young employees have understood the training they have been given and employers need to be aware that young persons are likely to require more supervision than adults.
Other H&S Considerations
- Upon deciding to make an offer of employment to a person under the age of 18, you should contact your insurance company to ensure that your Employers' Liability Insurance policy covers you for this type of employment.
- Look back at your accident and ill health records as these often help to identify the less obvious hazards.
- Contact the local authority to apply for a work permit if the child is between 13 and the minimum school leaving age (children under 13 years old are generally prohibited from any form of employment).
- PPE needs to be intended specifically for young people or children as adult PPE may not be a true fit and consequently be ineffective at controlling risks.