Health and safety

Young people at work

School-aged workers - health and safety guidelines

A 'child' is a person who is not yet over the compulsory school leaving age. There are specific health and safety issues that need to be addressed by anyone employing children or young people.

What employers need to do

If children are employed they are only allowed to work a prescribed number of hours and should have a 'Permit to Work', further information on employment byelaws for children and young people is available.

Informing parents

Employers are required to inform the parents of young people about the risks involved with the work, these will have been identified following the assessment. Parents should also be informed of the controls that you have implemented to protect them.

Risk assessment

If children have left school, and are under 18 years of age, under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 they are classed as 'young persons'. As such, employers are required to have carried out a specific risk assessment before they commence work. The assessment should identify the health and safety hazards that the young people are exposed to, and determine what control measures are required to reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring.

The assessment should take into account their:

  • inexperience
  • lack of awareness of existing or potential risks
  • mmaturity

It should also determine whether the young person should be prohibited from certain activities.

Further information about risk assessment and young people at work.

If you would like assistance reviewing your risk assessment regarding young persons at work, please contact online. Alternatively you may contact the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, a free confidential health and safety advisory service, with a local area office based in the Borders.