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Work experience and student placements

Work experience student

It’s that time of year again when many businesses will be opening their doors to give students an introduction to the world of work. This opportunity allows young people a valuable insight into working life and can help them decide on the direction of their future career.

What employers need to know:

In recent years the HSE updated its guidance simplifying the arrangements for assessing and managing the health and safety risks to those under 18 and there is now no longer a requirement to repeat the risk assessment process when assessing the risks to young workers. This change helps to encourage employers to take on young people without the need for preparing additional paperwork. As a result, employers will only need to review their risk assessments if they haven’t done so for a few years or they don’t currently employ someone under 18.

For some, the requirement to complete a risk assessment may actually prompt their business to re-evaluate their existing health and safety arrangements and put in place all of the basic requirements.

To support this simplified process, employers’ liability compulsory insurance is unlikely to be affected if the young person’s duties come within normal business work activities. If there is any doubt it is worth checking with the insurance provider.

It’s important for businesses to remember that the responsibility of managing health and safety risks rests with them. The work placement organiser will be required to check that the risks are effectively managed before the young person starts.

It’s essential that during their work placement, young workers are supervised at all times, ideally supported by a mentor and receive a specific health and safety induction on their first day which covers work activities, risks and emergency procedures.

If you require support with your safety arrangements or would like a sense check, contact

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