New to the job and young workers

Workers are at particular risk of injury in the first six months of a job, when they are more likely to be unaware of existing or potential risks. Young people will often be in this category.

Six steps to protect new workers

Young workers

In health and safety law, a young person is anyone under 18 and a child is anyone who has not yet reached the official minimum school leaving age.  

As an employer, in addition to your health and safety responsibilities to all your employees, you are responsible for ensuring a young person is not exposed to risk due to:

Before deciding whether you can employ a young person, you must consider some specific risks which are summarised below:

You should also be aware that students and trainees (including children) on work experience are regarded in health and safety law as employees. You must provide them with the same health, safety and welfare protection as other employees.

You must let the parents/guardians of any child know the key findings of the risk assessment and the control measures taken before the child starts work or work experience.

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Updated 2022-09-06