Introduction to this document

Young persons on work experience

If you take young people, i.e. under 18s, on work experience placements, then you’ll need to carry out a risk assessment. Ours will get you started.

Why you need our document

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to take particular care of young people and children in the workplace. In particular, you must carry out a specific risk assessment which takes into account their lack of experience, lack of awareness of risk and physical and emotional immaturity. If you have five or more employees, you have to write this down.

Our template Risk Assessment - Young Persons on Work Experience covers a variety of commonly occurring hazards and suggests how you might control these. You will, of course, need to tailor it to suit the young person involved and the particular types of work you want them to carry out.

What’s covered?

The risk assessment covers:

  • the extra precautions required due to the presence of a young person in the workplace
  • getting around the workplace
  • electricity
  • the use of hand tools
  • the use of mechanical equipment
  • exposure to hazardous substances
  • manual handling
  • work at height
  • confined spaces
  • action in the event of fire.

Bear in mind that not all of the risk control measures we’ve recommended are strict legal requirements, so you can be flexible. For example, we’ve included a maximum load weight of 20kg for any manual handling. This is based on general knowledge concerning safe lifting, but in some circumstances it may be too heavy and in others it may be safe to exceed it.