Remember that young people may not be equipped with the necessary skills and awareness in the workplace – it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure they are always kept safe.
Protect Your Apprentices with these 6 Top Tips
- Risk assessments for young persons (i.e. anyone under 18) must consider their lack of experience and maturity and their ability to recognise risk. There’s no need to do a completely new assessment – just make sure that you consider these elements in relation to your activities. Some high-risk activities, for example, those involving electricity, chemicals or asbestos, may not be suitable for young persons to take part in.
- Think about what needs adapting in the workplace for young persons. Machines can be labelled with who can use them and the time allowed on them, as well as the level of supervision needed. It’s fine to put age restrictions on higher-risk plant and vehicles which generally need formal training.
- Consider apprentices as individuals – look at their physical capabilities, such as the weights they are able to lift comfortably. It shouldn’t take long but consider their psychological capability too – do this by seeing whether they can follow instructions correctly, and retain information by being able to answer questions on what they’ve been told.
- Always ensure the person receives an initial induction, site walk-arounds to familiarise themselves, and are told the findings of your risk assessments in relation to their role. On-the-job training should be planned in advance and delivered by competent staff.
- Supervision is key. Unless the activity is low risk, apprentices shouldn’t be left alone until you can be sure of their level of competence.
- Give them a named person that they can go to if they have any questions or worries – this could be one of your Health and Safety Representatives, for example.
Contact us if you are looking to take an apprentices or would like your documents reviewed.