What is a Young Person’s Risk Assessment?
EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) professionals play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of young workers in the workplace while also fostering their growth and development, especially in high-risk workplaces.
Young person's risk assessment is the process of identifying and evaluating potential hazards that may adversely affect the health and safety of employees under 18 years of age.
This specialized approach ensures that any risks associated with the specific age group are taken into consideration and that necessary precautions are taken to prevent harmful incidents from taking place.
EHS teams must continuously stay vigilant and conduct regular assessments to maintain a secure work environment that caters to the needs of young workers.
The Importance of Conducting a Young Person’s Risk Assessment
The importance of conducting a risk assessment for young workers cannot be overstated. Firstly, young workers are more likely to be unaware of potential hazards and lack the experience to navigate the workplace safely.
This makes them more susceptible to injuries and accidents, which in turn heightens the need for a thorough risk assessment.
Secondly, young workers are still physically and mentally developing, making them more vulnerable to harm from certain exposures and work scenarios.
A proper risk assessment ensures that their health and safety requirements are duly taken into account and successfully met.
In many countries, the law mandates the need for young person's risk assessments as part of EHS compliance regimes.
Employers must ensure that effective measures are in place to address potential risks associated with employing young individuals.
In some cases, employers might be legally required to collaborate with parents, guardians, or schools in providing adequate safety measures and supervision, further emphasizing the need for thorough risk assessments and healthy communication channels.
How to Conduct a Young Person’s Risk Assessment
To conduct an effective young person's risk assessment, EHS teams should follow these steps:
1. Identify the hazards
Begin by thoroughly evaluating the workplace and identifying potential hazards that young workers may be exposed to during their day-to-day work.
This includes physical, chemical, and biological hazards, as well as psychological risks such as stress or bullying.
2. Involve young people in the risk assessment process
Speak with the young workers to gather their insights, experiences, and concerns. Including them in the assessment process creates a sense of ownership and awareness, which will make them more likely to adhere to safety protocols and act safely in the workplace.
3. Evaluate the likelihood and severity of risk
Once the hazards have been identified, assess the probability of each hazard causing harm and the potential severity of that harm.
This will help prioritize which risks need to be addressed first and ensure appropriate control measures are in place.
4. Implement control measures
Develop and implement suitable control measures that minimize the likelihood and severity of identified risks.
This may include providing young workers with additional training, supervision, or personal protective equipment.
Be sure to communicate these measures clearly to all employees, so they are aware of the steps being taken to protect young workers.
5. Monitor and review
Regularly review the risk assessment and the effectiveness of the control measures put in place.
This will ensure your young person's risk assessment remains up-to-date and that control measures continue to be effective in preventing harm to young workers.
By including young persons in this thorough evaluation and open communication process, EHS teams can create a safer and healthier working environment for all.
Involved young workers tend to be more responsible, accountable, and efficient in their tasks, increasing overall productivity, reducing liability, and having a positive impact on the business's bottom line.
Conduct More Accurate Risk Assessments with EcoOnline
EcoOnline is a cloud-based platform that enables companies to conduct more comprehensive risk assessments. It also fosters employee engagement, making it easy for employees to update hazards or risks in the workplace.
EcoOnline’s workplace safety solution is easy to deploy, and its modular nature ensures that the safety solution is optimized for the needs of the organization.