As part of an ongoing campaign to clear up confusion, myths and misconceptions surrounding health and safety regulations in the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has now issued new guidance to employers taking on work experience students.
The revised guidance is designed to provide employers with clarity on vital health and safety regulations for work experience placements, particularly in regard to their own obligations. It should explain clearly to bosses how to carry out risk assessments, correcting the common misconception that a new assessment should be carried out for each new work experience student. As long as the circumstances are the same and no additional health and safety training is required, there should be no need to carry out separate assessments.
The new guidance is part of a multi-pronged approach designed to make it as easy as possible to take on work experience students. The Association of British Insurers has also reassured employers that they don’t need special insurance for work experience placements, and the Department for Education has published new guidance on how Ofsted will inspect health and safety in workplaces.
Mark Hoban, the Minister for Employment, has 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.”