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Health and Safety

Advice for employers about student’s health and safety.

Introducing young people to the world of work can help them understand the work environment and make them increasingly aware of the Health and Safety factors which are present in the workplace.

Under Health and Safety Law, work experience students are to be treated as employees whilst they are undertaking the placement and have the same health and safety rights as your employees.

Keeping students safe

As an employer you will be allocated a Work Placement Coordinator at the College who will discuss all arrangements of the student placement with you. If a student has any additional needs, for example due to any health conditions or learning difficulties, the Work Placement Coordinator will go through this with you when discussing a possible placement.

The Law

Putting the necessary requirements in place for young people (those under 18) should be straightforward and, in most cases, you should already have the necessary risk management arrangements in place for your existing employees. You may have to review these in light of student’s maturity, capability and understanding as well as any medical needs that we may have told you about.

You will need to consider:

  • The layout of the workplace and where the student will work
  • How the work and processes are organised and if the student can handle any physical demands
  • The extent of health and safety training needed
  • How the student will handle work equipment and under what supervision
  • Risks from particular agents, processes and work
  • If the temperature or physical conditions of the workplace present any risk factors
  • The physical, biological and chemical agents they will be exposed to and under what supervision

Training and supervision

It is essential that as an employer you recognise that young people can be at particular risk because they may lack experience and training.

They need good advice, information and supervision as well as suitable, safe, and healthy jobs.

Young people are likely to need more supervision than adults, but can learn swiftly with some guidance and input from a supervisor.