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Young/Vulnerable Persons Risk Assessments

HSE defines vulnerable workers as those who are at risk of having their workplace entitlements denied and who lack the capacity or means to secure them.

Health and safety should not be used as an excuse to justify discriminating against certain groups of workers.  People who can be termed as vulnerable are young people entering the working environment for the first time; people for whom English is not their first language; people with disabilities and workers new to the industry in which you operate.

In seeking to protect the health and safety of all workers, we know race is an important factor, particularly in terms of:

  • differences in vulnerability
  • the networks and communication channels
  • language

There are no requirements in health and safety legislation for businesses to ensure their employees are fluent in English. However, the HSE recommends steps should be taken to ensure understanding of health and safety issues.

The law requires that you, as an employer, provide employees with comprehensible and relevant information about risks and about the procedures they need to follow to ensure they can work safely and without risk to health. This does not have to be in English.  You may decide to make special arrangements, which could include translation, using interpreters or replacing written notices with clearly understood symbols or diagrams.  Additionally, any health and safety training provided must take into account the worker’s capabilities, including language skills.

OM Safety Solutions Ltd can provide you with information and supervision in training employees to overcome the language barrier by utilising interpreters and interactive training.

Approximately 2% of the UK working age population becomes disabled every year.

There are approximately 10 million disabled people in Great Britain who are covered by the Equality Act 2010. This represents around 18% of the population.  Employers must ensure that a suitable risk assessment is carried out taking into account the work activities involved and the particular disability.

We can help you with ensuring that your risk assessment is completed to the highest standard, whilst guaranteeing that there will be no discrimination against the employee.

Finally, young people are also classed as vulnerable when entering the working environment for the first time.  Employers must ensure that all young people starting work are given general instruction in health and safety matters in an induction session that is geared to new employees who may not have worked in the industry since leaving school.

In many cases, employers must provide increased levels of supervision and support to young persons during the early stages of employment, until they are satisfied that the individual appreciates the risks they are likely to encounter in the workplace.

OM Safety Solutions Ltd is able to carry out a risk assessment of your premises and the tasks that the employee would be likely to carry out, ensuring that the appropriate control measures are in place, managed and monitored.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business remain safe and compliant, or to arrange a free consultation with one of our expert consultants.

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