The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Health and Safety for Work Experience Students

Graham Marshall - Monday, June 24, 2013

The UK Government has made a commitment to slashing burdensome rules on business owners and operators.

And Minister for Employment Mark Hoban has outlined his plans to make it as easy as possible for employers to take on work experience students.

In the past, employers in low risk environments have been hampered by needless risk assessments for young people.

In some cases they have even had to repeat risk assessments for every young person they give a chance of work experience.

This is a needless expense and waste of time when then work experience circumstances are exactly the same.

The Government seems committed to putting an end to this kind of health and safety bureaucracy.

The UK Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE) has also recently issued revised guidance to employers  taking on work experience youngsters.

The Association of British Insurers has also reassured employers that they don’t have to take out special insurance policies to cover students on work experience.

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said:

“We know that work experience gives young people vital insights into the world of work, encourages them to aspire to great things, and helps them to prepare for their future.

“Too often in the past, the crazy cornucopia of confusing rules discouraged employers from taking young people on. That’s why we have been working across Government to make sure the rules are clear and easy to understand.”

As a result of cross-government action:

•  The insurance industry has committed to treat work experience students as employees for the purposes of insurance against bodily injury, and confirmed that simply giving work experience opportunities to students will not in itself impact on insurance premiums.

•  The UK HSE has issued guidance providing clarity on employers’ obligations with regard to risk assessments - making it clear that if workplace risk has already been assessed with young people in mind, a business does not need to repeat this for each new student.

•  Department of Education and Ofsted have published a guide to clarify the health and safety responsibilities for educational establishments organizing work experience opportunities.


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