We received an award at APS National CDM Awards!
The Wilkins Safety Group was recognised for its excellent work on £3.8 million conservation project at the Association for Project Safety (APS) National Awards, in Edinburgh, held on 7th October 2015.
The awards recognise excellence in health and safety risk management during design and construction phases, and were judged by leading industry figures including the Health & Safety Executive.
Wilkins Safety Group was highly commended as CDM Coordinator and Principal Designer for their work on the Dyrham Park re-roofing project and installation of a new biomass boiler in the “Architectural Project of the Year Award 2015”
To learn more please click here.
The two HSE cases this week both look at tragic accidents that shouldn’t have happened
- The agency worker, was working at Brigstock saw mill on 14 August 2014, when his hand was drawn into the rotating blade of an inadequately guarded large band saw.
- A company that erects steel frames has been fined for safety failings while cladding a steel framed building.
Young people and work experience
I was asked about this subject on a recent site visit where there was an apprentice electrician on a site and the site agent wanted clarity as to his responsibilities to this lad.
So this article is aimed at employers who provide work experience opportunities to young people. It will help you, and those responsible for work experience in your business, ensure young people have their health and safety protected while they are with you.
Under health and safety law, work experience students are your employees. You treat them no differently to other young people you employ. You may have considerable experience of successfully employing young people
or taking on work experience students. If not, there are just a few steps that you need to take.
Schools and colleges, or others organising placements, need to check that you have risk management arrangements in place. Conversations you have with the placement organiser could simply be noted for reference.
Taking on work experience students should be straightforward. It should not be about generating unnecessary paperwork. This guidance describes how to keep it simple.
Definitions of young people and children by age
- A young person is anyone under 18.
- 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.
What you, as an employer, need to do
Simply use your existing arrangements for assessing and managing risks to young people.
Avoid repeating your assessment of the risks if a new student is of a broadly similar level of maturity and understanding, and has no particular or additional needs (the organiser or parent should tell you if they have).
If you don’t currently employ a young person, have not done so in the last few years and are taking on a work experience student for the first time, or one with particular needs, review your risk assessment before they start.
Discuss the placement in advance with organisers. Take account of what they and the parents or carers tell you of the student’s physical and psychological capacity and of any particular needs, for example due to any health conditions or learning difficulties.
Keep any additional work in proportion to the environment:
- For placements in low-risk environments, such as offices or shops, with everyday risks that will mostly be familiar to the student, your existing arrangements for other employees should be enough.
- For environments with risks less familiar to the student (eg in light assembly or packing facilities), you will need to make arrangements to manage the risks – this will include induction, supervision, site familiarisation, and any protective equipment needed.
- For a placement in a higher-risk environment, such as construction, agriculture and manufacturing, you will need to:
consider what work the student will be doing or observing, the risks involved in that work and how these are managed;
- satisfy yourself that the instruction, training and supervisory arrangements have been properly thought through and that they work in practice.
You may, particularly for higher-risk environments, need to consider specific factors that must be managed for young people, including exposure to radiation, noise and vibration, toxic substances, or extreme temperatures.
Where these specific factors exist in your workplace you should already have control measures in place. This will also apply to legally required age limits on the use of some equipment and machinery (e.g. forklift trucks and some woodworking machinery). Consider whether you need to do anything further to control the risks to young people.
Explain to parents/carers of children what the significant risks are and what has been done to control them. This can be done in whatever way is simplest and suitable, including verbally, and is very often done through the school or college.
When you induct students, explain the risks and how they are controlled, checking that they understand what they have been told.
Check that students know how to raise any health and safety concerns.
Training and supervision
Many young people are likely to be new to the workplace and in some cases will be facing unfamiliar risks, from the job they will be doing and from their surroundings. You will need to provide them with clear and sufficient instruction, training and supervision to enable them to work without putting themselves and other people at risk.
Young people are likely to need more supervision than adults. Good supervision will help you get a clear idea of the young person’s capabilities and progress in the job and monitor the effectiveness of their training.
You will need to consider how much training is necessary. A proportionate approach is needed, for example a low-risk business would not be expected to have a need for lengthy technical training. Similarly, where a student is on a short term work experience placement, induction and training needs should be tailored to the tasks they are going to be doing.
It is important that you check young people have understood the instruction and training which will include, for example:
- the hazards and risks in the workplace;
- the health and safety precautions that are in place.
In workplaces where there are health and safety representatives, they can play a valuable role early on by:
- helping with their ongoing training;
- giving you feedback about particular concerns.
As employees, young people have a duty to take care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their actions.
This includes co-operating with you, by listening carefully, following instructions, using any safety equipment that you have provided and taking part in relevant training.
What the law says
Under health and safety law, every employer must ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all their employees, irrespective of age. As part of this, there are certain considerations that need to be made for young people.
This section outlines the requirements in the law. Putting the requirements into practice should be straightforward and in most cases you should already have the necessary risk management arrangements in place.
What does ‘so far as reasonably practicable’ mean?
- This means balancing the level of risk against the measures needed to control the real risk in terms of money, time or trouble. However, you do not need to take action if it would be grossly disproportionate to the level of risk.
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, you have a responsibility to ensure that young people employed by you are not exposed to risk due to:
- lack of experience;
- being unaware of existing or potential risks;
- lack of maturity.
You must consider:
- the layout of the workplace;
- the physical, biological and 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.
You 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 harmful exposure to radiation:
ensure a young person’s exposure to radiation is restricted and does not exceed the allowed dose limit;
- 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.
A child must never carry out such work involving these risks, whether they are permanently employed or under training such as work experience.
A young person, who is not a child, can carry out work involving these risks if:
- the work is necessary for their training;
- the work is properly supervised by a competent person;
- the risks are reduced to the lowest level, so far as reasonably practicable.
You must let the parents or guardians of any child know the possible risks and the measures put in place to control them. This can be done in whatever way is simplest and suitable, including verbally.
Other issues you need to consider
There are other agents, processes and work that should be taken into account when employing a young person. The following list doesn’t cover all of those, but if any of the issues are relevant to your workplace you can find more information by contacting us by phone on – 01458 253682 or email.
- biological agents;
- working with chemicals;
- working with lead and lead processes;
- working with explosives, including fireworks;
- working with compressed air;
- construction, including demolition;
- electrical safety;
Working hours and young workers
Working hours are not governed by health and safety law.
Young people and children have different employment rights from adult workers and are subject to protections in relation to the hours they can work.
Children below the minimum school leaving age (MSLA) must not be employed in industrial workplaces such as factories, construction sites etc, except when on work experience.
Children under 13 are generally prohibited from any form of employment. Local authorities have powers to make bye-laws on the types of work, and hours of work, children aged between 13 and the MSLA can do.
If you have any topic you would like us to cover in this newsletter please contact us by phone 01458 253682 or email.
We have three courses set up, one in Bridgwater on 14th October and 2 in Glasgow but these are all fully booked.
However we are running the following courses:
EMERGENCY FIRST-AID AT WORK – ONE-DAY COURSE
Under the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure they provide adequately trained persons to cover their First-aid requirements. The following course has been approved and recognised by the HSE as meeting the basic requirements set by the regulations.
Who Is This Course Suitable For?
- Smaller companies
- Offices and shops with less than 50 employees and other low risk environments
- Employees working off site
- Self-employed people
- Anyone who wants to learn first aid and assist in an emergency situation.
- First Aid Kits
- How to manage an incident
- Treating an unconscious casualty
- Resuscitation and CPR
- Chest Pains
- Burns and Scalds
- Care and Communication
- Open Forum
Course Duration: 1 day
COURSE REF DATE(s) LOCATION
WSG. EFA . 1502 Thursday 15th October 2015 Taunton Racecourse
Fee: £120 to include Course notes, mid-morning & afternoon refreshments, Finger buffet lunch and a Certificate of Training (Fee subject to VAT)