Young salaried workers in hazardous jobs

Young salaried workers (under 18 years) are much more likely to suffer an occupational accident than their elders.

When specific positions are filled by young people, the employer must, therefore:

  • evaluate the security and health risks of the position for the young person;
  • respect the ban on hiring young persons for specific hazardous jobs;
  • provide regular medical supervision for young people who carry out tasks with acceptable risks;
  • inform these young people and their legal representatives, in writing, of possible risks and the protective measures in place.

Who is concerned

The employer and his safety officer (designated worker) must take into account young salaried workers in particular when evaluating hazardous jobs.

Young salaried workers are people who:

How to proceed

Assessing the risks

The employer must assess the risks of positions to be occupied by young people in particular:

  • before appointing a young salaried worker to the position;
  • every time there is an important change in the working conditions of the young person.

In order to do this, the employer must proceed in the same manner as for the inventory of hazardous jobs, while additionally evaluating potential risks with regard to:

  • the equipment and preparation of the work environment;
  • the equipment and preparation of the workplace;
  • the nature, degree and duration of exposure to physical, biological and chemical agents;
  • the preparation, choice, use and handling of work tools;
  • the organisation of work;
  • the degree of training and information of the young persons.

Workplaces prohibited to young salaried workers

Above all, the employer cannot assign tasks to young salaried workers which expose them to specific risks regarding their safety, health, physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development, or which could compromise their education or vocational training. There is a specific ban on tasks which:

  • require physical and psychological capacities which are superior to the skills of the young salaried workers;
  • involve a harmful exposure of the young persons to radiation, toxic or carcinogenic agents, etc.;
  • present risks of accidents which the young salaried workers cannot identify or prevent because of their lack of experience or training;
  • put the health of the young salaried workers at risk due to extremely high or low temperatures;
  • put the health of the young salaried workers at risk because of the noise or vibration levels;
  • contain processes that entail a harmful exposure of the young salaried workers to a certain number of specific physical, biological and chemical agents;
  • present risks to the morality of young people (bars, nightclubs, sex-shops, gaming halls with other than video games, etc.).

Informing young salaried workers

The employer must inform the young salaried workers and their legal representatives of the potential risks and protective measures put in place with regard to the safety and health of young persons.

This information must be shared:

  • preferably before the work contract is signed;
  • but at the latest before the young person starts work.

Medical supervision

The employer must provide suitable, regular and free evaluation and monitoring of the health of the young salaried workers who fill positions which present one or more of the following risks:

  • safety risks;
  • health risks;
  • risks for their physical, psychological, mental, moral or social development.

The employer can entrust this surveillance to the occupational health service he is affiliated to, which plans and organises the required medical checks.

Who to contact

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