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Topic: Machinery

young persons working in an engineering environment
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Young persons working in an engineering environment

Young persons working in an engineering environment

Under health and safety law a “young person” is defined as anyone under 18 years. Employers are duty-bound to make a specific risk assessment for under 18s that takes particular account of their inexperience, lack of awareness of risks and immaturity. If work tasks for young persons are not managed correctly, then this could lead to accidents involving serious personal injuries.

Managing the risks

To help you to identify the hazards associated with young persons working in an engineering environment and the appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Young Persons Working in an Engineering Environment. It covers the generic hazards associated with these types of activity and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level. You should ensure your document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that could, and more importantly are likely to, cause an accident or injury.

Make your instructions clear

Don’t include activities in your document that simply don’t need to be there. Work to the principle that if there is any chance of young people in your employment being unaware of the safe way of doing something, then you will need to make it clear in your document. Finally, always ensure that any control measures you identify and follow are decided upon the principle of “so far as is reasonably practicable”.


Note. Risk assessments for young people should be carried out before they commence work in accordance with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Note. For your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards found in your workplace that may affect young people in your employment. Our risk assessment only deals with the generic risks associated with common activities in the engineering environment and the list of potential hazards is not exhaustive.

Note. Where young people carry out activities that are already covered by your risk assessment process, it may only be necessary to modify existing assessments to take their age and lack of experience into account.


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