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Children and young people safety standard

This standard aims to provide the necessary information to ensure the additional needs of this age group are addressed in the university setting.


Approval date
09 Mar 2021
Approved by
University Health and Safety Committee
Date of last review
12 Mar 2024
Date of next review
31 Mar 2027


This standard applies to situations where a child or young person is employed by the University or is carrying out work experience. It also applies where a child or young person is on University premises for a purpose connected with the business of the University. This includes, but is not limited to studying, social events, school visits, sporting events, and open days.

Young workers may be employees, on work experience, or in a ‘training for employment’ scheme. Health and Safety legislation regards young workers on work experience or in ‘training for employment’ schemes as having the same status as young employees.

Children attending the Westwood Nursery are not included in this standard, as separate arrangements are in place to ensure the health and safety, including safeguarding, of this group.


Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASWA)

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR)

Please note that children employed by the University are additionally protected by the obligation to fulfil local council legal requirements.



A child is anyone who has not yet reached the minimum school leaving age (MSLA). Pupils will reach the MSLA in the school year in which they turn 16.

Young person

A young person is any person under 18 years of age.

Young person who is not a child

A young person who is not a child is anyone over the minimum school leaving age (MSLA) but under the age of 18 years.

Restrictions placed on children at work

A child must never be allowed to carry out work which:

  • is beyond their physical or psychological capacity

  • involves harmful exposure to substances that are toxic, can cause cancer, can damage or harm an unborn child, or can chronically affect human health in any other way

  • involves exposure to radiation

  • involves risk of accidents that cannot reasonably be recognised or avoided. In practice, this means prohibiting the use of certain equipment (power presses, woodworking equipment, fork lifts, lifting equipment and agricultural equipment)

  • has a risk of exposure to extreme heat, cold, noise or vibration

Restrictions placed on young people at work

A young person, who is not a child, can carry out work involving these risks if the:

  • work is necessary for their training

  • occupational exposure to ionising radiation is reduced as low as is reasonably practicable and in any case below 1mSv per calendar year

  • work is properly supervised by a competent person

Risks are reduced to the lowest level, so far as reasonably practicable.

Responsibility for implementation

Deans, Directors, and Heads of Department whose Faculties, Directorates or Departments carry out activities that fall within the scope of this policy.

Training availability

Risk assessment training from Safety, Health and Employee Wellbeing (SHEW) is available on request.


Head of Department or Line Manager

During employment or work experience of a young person, the Head of Department or Line Manager is responsible for the following:

  • where a young person will be employed or will be on work experience, a risk assessment is carried out before the person is allowed to start work

  • the risk assessment and control measures take into account the Young Person’s potential psychological or physical immaturity, inexperience, and lack of awareness of existing or potential risks

  • where relevant, the risk assessment and control measures take into account the restrictions placed on young people at work

  • if the young person is a child, their parents/carers are informed of the key findings of the risk assessment and the control measures in place, before the child starts work or work experience

  • the young person is provided with appropriate information and instruction and training including induction training, which includes ensuring the young person understands their own responsibility to work safely and addressing any concerns the young person may have in respect of health and safety matters

  • young people are provided with supervision appropriate to the level of assessed risk

  • employees working alongside a young person will be made aware of an enhanced duty of care owed to the young person as a result of their potential youth and inexperience

Under 18s who are not students are not permitted in laboratories and workshops except as participants in officially organised activities and competently supervised at all times.

Open days, sporting events, school visits, or similar

The relevant Head of Department and event organiser are responsible for making sure that event risk assessments (and proposed control measures) take into account any children and/or young people that will be attending or participating.

Other information


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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