Young People

Advice for Young People

Welcome to the young people’s section of the Young Worker website. This section is aimed at young people who are taking part in Work Experience programmes or who are starting work for the first time.

Here you will find all kinds of information about health and safety in the workplace, including your responsibilities at work; facts and figures about risks and injuries at work, and guidance and checklists to help you through your first few days at work.

Is it your responsibility to do the following?:

1. Must you take reasonable care of your own health and safety.
YES – It is your responsibility to take reasonable care of your own health and safety. Other people are not responsible if you ignore instructions or are foolish or careless in your behaviour.

2. Must you take reasonable care of other people around you.
YES – Your behaviour can effect the health and safety of others. This can be directly by your actions or indirectly by things you fail to do.

3. When using new equipment, should you forget the instruction book and pick it up as you go along.
NO – If you are asked to use equipment then you should be shown how to use it safely. IF IN DOUBT – ASK.

4. Must you co-operate with your managers and supervisors.
YES – It is your employer’s responsibility to provide a safe environment in which you can work, but it is your responsibility to use equipment properly and to follow instructions.

5. You must make tea for everyone for the first two weeks or until a younger member of staff starts.
NO – This isn’t an automatic requirement but you may be asked by your supervisor or manager to make drinks or fetch drinks from a machine for your colleagues. Starting work is a bit like going to a new school. Suddenly, you’re the youngest and tea-making is one way to get you to become part of the team and get to know your colleagues. It is not meant to be a form of punishment, so don’t take it to heart.

6. If you spot a hazard should you avoid it and ignore it. It is someone else’s job to report it and fix it.
NO – There should be procedures you can follow to report possible hazards. These may be informally mentioning it to your supervisor or making suggestions in a book. NEVER BE AFRAID TO MENTION SOMETHING – a spillage, a slippery floor, a faulty plug, or anything at all you feel is appropriate.

7. You must know all UK laws about health and safety before you start work.
NO – This is not required, but it is good to have some idea. Why not browse through the main documents now – Health and safety law – What you should know (Health and Safety Executive – PDF)

8. You must follow all instructions, signs and rules displayed around the workplace.
YES – Safety signs are displayed for your protection and are in place by law. You have a responsibility to note them and follow them. See common hazards for further information.