Health & Safety

3D person in high vis waistcoat holding a spanner

If you’ve offered work placements previously, it won’t always be necessary to have a health and safety visit, but if anything has changed with the placement or your original pre-placement check is out of date you may be contacted by a member of our health and safety team. We’ll also ask you to send us your updated insurance details as these expire annually.

Depending on the risk banding of the placement you are offering, your pre-placement check will be carried out every:

  • 1 year for high risk (e.g. construction)*
  • 2 years for medium risk (e.g. office placement within a factory environment)*
  • 3 years for low risk (e.g. hairdressing salon).*

*please note that these timescales are an example and could vary according to individual local authority procedures.

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Insurance

Young people on work placements are classed as employees of that company for the duration of the placement, therefore, you’ll need to have valid Employers’ Liability Insurance (ELI) in place to cover that period. Most local authorities require proof that you do and may ask you for a copy of your current certificate.

Government bodies are exempt from this, and on occasion, family businesses where the business is not a limited company (exclusions apply).

If you’re a sole trader or don’t employ anyone, you will need to purchase a policy to cover the duration of the placement. There is likely to be a charge for this and the cost will depend on your insurer. The cost would be met by you, the parent/carer or the school. If you offer work placements on a regular basis, you’ll be asked to produce a copy of your ELI annually.

You need to inform your insurer that you will be providing work placements to young people. You only need to do this once.

PVG Checks

Close up of a pen checking boxes

You are generally not required to have a PVG check to host a work placement. However, there may be occasions where it is necessary.

Pupils undertaking a work placement are generally not required to have a PVG check. They should not be left unsupervised at any time or included in supervision ratios with vulnerable service users, however, if your organisation is a member of the PVG scheme then you may insist on a PVG check. For more information visit www.mygov.scot/pvg-scheme.

Please note: this advice can vary between local authorities so it’s always best to check with your local work placement team.

Lady wearing hard hat and work overalls

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The health and safety officer will discuss with you what, if any, PPE is required for the young person The school can provide PPE for pupils attending, but if you are in a position to supply these please confirm this with the health and safety officer as part of the check. You can ask the school to supply sizing prior to the start of the placement.

Supervision and Welfare

Group of apprentices looking at a brick with a supervisor

It is expected that you will provide an appropriate level of supervision to the young person. Remember they are new to the workplace.

In addition, it is also expected that you will inform the school immediately:

  • if the young person has not returned from a scheduled break
  • in any instances of indiscipline that requires the young person to be removed from the workplace and returned to school (the school will agree the best course of action with you and notify the parent/carer where appropriate)
  • if the young person is to be sent home early for any reason.

You will receive confirmation of the work placement booking which provides details of the agreed dates and times. However, if a pupils arrives to start a placement without your knowledge, you should contact the school directly to arrange for them to be returned to their school.

Useful Resources

Young Person Risk Assessment Online Behaviour & Safeguarding Agreement Online Behaviour & Safeguarding Information for Young People Example Induction Checklist Supervisors Feedback Form HSE - Advice for work experience organisers ABI - Work experience students
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