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Young Worker Safety

There's a lot to think about when a child arrives from a local school for work experience.

 One thing you may not realise is there are a few extra health and safety regulations when employing people under the age of 18. By the way, don't be put-off by the word "employing". As far as health and safety law goes, students on work experience placements are employees.
The main thing to note is you must assess the risks to anyone under 18 years old BEFORE they start work experience. You must also tell the young person what these risks are.
There's no need for a new risk assessment every time someone arrives for work experience. A generic assessment covering young workers is fine, so long as it's relevant. 
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations also say risk assessments must take into account young people's "psychological or physical immaturity, inexperience, and lack of awareness of existing or potential risks."
Of course, as with all risk assessments, employers have to follow up with some control measures.
There is one other regulation worth noting. This applies to children below the minimum school leaving age. Here, parents or carers must be told about the findings of the risk assessment and the control measures being put in place BEFORE the child starts work experience.
It's worth having a bit more information about these regulations. Information that will help you manage any potential liability problems and keep you on the right side of the law.
Get our free two-page 'Hardfacts' on young worker safety here.

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