Resources
Thursday
Jul232015

Why give special consideration to young people in the workplace?

 Because of their age, immaturity, and inexperience, young people could be at greater risk in the workplace.

When they are new to the workplace, they will encounter unfamiliar risks from the work they carry out, and from the working environment.

Employers must ensure that they assess the risks to young persons and make sure they put in place controls to reduce the risks.

 

 

Definitions of young people and children by age:

  • A young person is anyone under 18 and
  • A child is anyone who has not yet reached the official minimum school leaving age (MSLA). Pupils will reach the MSLA in the school year in which they turn 16. 

The Law - Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999  

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, an employer has a responsibility to ensure that young people employed by them are not exposed to risk due to:

  • lack of experience
  • being unaware of existing or potential risks and/or
  • lack of maturity

An employer must consider:

  • the layout of the workplace
  • the physical, biological & chemical agents they will be exposed to
  • how they will handle work equipment
  • how the work and processes are organised
  • the extent of health and safety training needed
  • risks from particular agents, processes and work

These considerations should be straightforward in a low-risk workplace, for example an office environment.

In higher- risk workplaces the risks are likely to be greater and will need more attention to ensure they’re properly controlled.

Employers need to consider whether the work the young person will do:

Is beyond their physical or psychological capacity

This doesn’t have to be complicated, it could be as simple as checking a young person is capable of safely lifting weights and of remembering and following instructions.

Involves harmful exposure to substances that are toxic, can cause cancer, can damage or harm an unborn child, or can chronically affect human health in any other way

Be aware of substances a young person might come into contact with in their work, consider exposure levels and ensure legal limits are met.

Involves risk of accidents that cannot reasonably be recognised or avoided by young people due to their insufficient attention to safety or lack of experience or training

A young person might be unfamiliar with ‘obvious’ risks. An employer should consider the need for tailored training/closer supervision.

Has a risk to health from extreme cold, heat, noise or vibration

In most cases, young people will not be at any greater risk than adults and for workplaces that include these hazards it is likely there will already be control measures in place.

Dispelling the Myth - Young Persons need a separate risk assessment!

This is incorrect but is a commonly held view.  The HSE have recently issued new guidance (INDG364 (rev1)) which makes it clear what is required and explains how to take a proportionate approach.  There is no requirement for an employer to complete a separate risk assessment specifically for a young person.  Employers are required to manage risks in their workplaces and should not be adding unnecessary bureaucracy.  

To obtain this new guidance, please go to the HSE website or find a copy here.

Wednesday
Apr012015

On-site Trained First Aiders – Is it a requirement?

People can suffer injuries or be taken ill at work at any time.  It doesn’t matter whether the cause of the injury or illness is due to their work or not, immediate First Aid should be given.

The ‘Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981’ require “the employer to provide adequate and appropriate first-aid equipment, facilities and people so your employees can be given immediate help if they are injured or taken ill at work”.

The level of cover in this area will depend on the size and type of your business.  The table below provides suggested first aiders required at all times at work.

Most agricultural premises would be classed as higher hazard. Safety Aide has always encouraged each site or depot to have at least 2 trained first aiders to cover for illness and holidays. 

It is important to remember that accidents and illness can happen at any time.

Provision for first aid needs to be available at all times people are at work.

In the event of injury or sudden illness, failure to provide first aid could result in a casualty’s death. HSE will prosecute in cases where there is a significant risk, a disregard for established standards or poor compliance with the law.

What can employers do to meet the standards required by law?

The HSE have provided a leaflet (INDG214REV2) which answers the basic questions regarding first aid provision at work. This leaflet can be downloaded here or from the HSE website.

Safety Aide also provide on-site Fully Accredited Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) training for four or more staff.  Please contact us on 08000 806 801 if you are interested in more information or check our offers page on this website.

Tuesday
Feb172015

Get it Right from Day One!

All too often companies take on new employees without considering the necessary legal requirement they have under health and safety law.

The Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires employers to provide whatever information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health & safety of their employees. This is further expanded by the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulation 1999, which identify situations where health & safety training is particularly important, e.g. when people start work or are exposed to new or increased risks.

On taking up a new appointment, line managers have a duty to ensure that all new members of staff receive an effective health & safety induction, and understand the relevant information given.

So what should you cover as part of induction?

  •          Health and safety policy of the company
  •          Summary of health and safety managements system (names of direct supervisor, safety representative and where health and safety information is stored)
  •          Employees responsibility for health and safety including any site rules
  •          Accident reporting procedure, location of accident book, first aid kits and first aiders
  •          Fire and other emergency procedures
  •          Summary of risk assessment and safe systems of work
  •          Location of welfare facilities (rest room, toilets etc)

Additional information that is specific to the job will need to be included:

  •          Correct use of personal protective equipment and maintenance procedures
  •          Manual handling techniques and use of lifting aids
  •          Details of hazardous substance and health surveillance procedures as applicable
  •          Internal/external traffic routes and pedestrian walkways.

Now that you have took the new member of staff through all the relevant health and safety information it is vitally important that the employee signs a record to confirm effective induction training was received. This record may be required should there be a subsequent legal claim against the company.

Ask yourself

Do you provide induction training to all new members of staff on the day they start? Are you sure your cover all the necessary health and safety information? Can you prove evidence that induction training was given to every member of staff?

If the answer to any of the above questions is no, then prompt action is required.

Safety Aide offers an online health and safety induction solution. If you are interested in receiving a free trial of one of our e-learning modules, please email info@safetyaide.com for more details.

Thursday
Nov272014

Work Based Cancers – Are you at Risk?

The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health [IOSH] have launched a campaign to raise awareness of work based cancers and their cause and prevention.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct012014

Don’t Get Into Hot Water Over Second Hand Machinery – What Does the Law Require?

If you are supplying second hand (used) machinery, you must ensure that the machinery supplied is safe for use at the time of supply [HSWA Act 1974 section 6].

Click to read more ...

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