Young Worker Risk Assessment Form
This Young Worker Risk Assessment Form should be used before employing a young worker and/or when reviewing a risk assessment where there are young workers in the workplace. A young person is defined as someone who is below 18 years of age and above the minimum school leaving age i.e. someone aged 16 or 17.
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, an employer must not employ a young person unless they have carried out a risk assessment in relation to risks to the health and safety of young people. There is no need to carry out a new risk assessment every time a young person is employed provided that the current risk assessment takes account of the characteristics of young people and activities that present significant risks to their health and safety.
The particular factors that employers must take account of in carrying out a young worker risk assessment are as follows:
· the inexperience, lack of awareness of risks and immaturity of young persons;
· the fitting-out and layout of the workplace and workstation;
· the nature of any physical, biological and chemical agents to which they will be exposed, and how long and to what extent they will be exposed;
· what type of work equipment will be used and the way in which it will be handled;
· how work processes and activities are organised; and
· the extent of the health and safety training provided to young persons.
If applicable, employers must also take account of the risks from physical, biological and chemical agents, processes and work listed in the annex to the Directive on the Protection of Young People at Work.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires that the employer ensure that young persons they employ are protected at work from any risks to their health or safety that arise from their lack of experience, awareness of existing or potential risks, or their lack of maturity. The Regulations state that young persons must not be employed for any work that:
· is beyond their physical or psychological capacity;
· involves harmful exposure to toxic or carcinogenic agents, or those which cause heritable genetic damage or harm to the unborn child, or which in any other way chronically affect human health;
· involves harmful exposure to radiation;
· involves the risk of accidents which it may reasonably be assumed cannot be recognised or avoided by young persons due to their insufficient attention to safety, or lack of experience or training; or
· creates a risk to health from extreme cold or heat, noise or vibration.
In deciding whether or not the work involves any of these risks or harm, the employer must take account of the results of the risk assessment.
The Health and Safety Executive advises that employers must tell all employees, including young workers, about the risks to their health and safety identified by the assessment, the measures put in place to control them and about the procedures to be followed in the event of serious and imminent danger.
In addition to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, there are other regulations which must be taken into account:
1. Working Time Regulations 1998
The Working Time Regulations set out particular limits on the hours worked by young workers and the breaks to which they are entitled:
· the working time of young workers are limited to eight hours per day and 40 hours per week
· employers must ensure that no young worker works between the hours of 10pm and 6am, unless they are contracted to work after 10pm, in which case they should not work between 11pm and 7am
· employers must not assign young workers to work between 10pm and 6am unless they have had the opportunity of a free health assessment before taking up the assignment, or such a health assessment had previously been done and the employer believes it to still be valid
· young workers are entitled to at least 12 consecutive hours’ rest in each 24-hour period
· young persons are entitled to a rest period of at least 48 hours in each seven-day period
· young people are also entitled to a rest break of at least 30 minutes, where the daily working time is more than four-and-a-half hours.
2. Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002
The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 require employers to ensure that the exposure of young people to lead and its compounds is adequately controlled. Additionally, exposure levels specified in the Regulations are lower for young people than for older workers.
3. Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017
The Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 require employers to give special consideration to the employment of young people working with ionising radiation. Young people under the age of 18 cannot be employed to work with ionising radiation where they would need to be designated as classified person (i.e. a person likely to receive an effective dose greater than the limit set under reg.21 of the Regulations).
Small businesses can probably conduct the risk assessment themselves; however, larger businesses may want to seek the advice of a health and safety expert.
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