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Young people at work and the risks

Employers should already be managing any significant risks in their workplaces, and are best placed to assess whether or not they need to do anything additional for a young person joining them. 

If an employer currently employs a young person, or has done so in the last few years, their existing arrangements for assessment and management of the risks for new young people in the workplace should be sufficient, if the new starter is of a broadly similar level of maturity and understanding, and has no particular needs.

If employing a young person for the first time, or employing one with particular needs, an employer will need to review their risk assessment, taking into account the specific factors for young people before they start. This should be straightforward in a low-risk business, for example an office with everyday risks that will mostly be familiar to the young person.    

For work in higher-risk environments, eg construction, agriculture or manufacturing or work involving exposure to toxic substances or extreme temperatures, the risks are likely to be greater and will need more careful attention to ensure they are properly controlled. If a workplace contains these hazards, employers should already have control measures in place. 

Employers need to make arrangements to manage the risks. These will need to include induction, supervision, site familiarisation and provision of any protective equipment needed.

Employers with fewer than five employees are not required to have a written risk assessment.

Find out more about managing the risks in businesses with Health and safety made simple.

Find out more about the considerations required for young people

Updated 2013-06-21