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Young Persons




The Department will ensure that any young person (i.e. under the age of eighteen) employed by the unit (including vacation students) or on work placement are protected from risks to their health and safety that may result from their lack of experience and reduced awareness of existing or potential risks.

Otherwise, children are not permitted within the Department other than to enter defined non-laboratory areas or as part of organised tours notified to the Safety Office.  The presence of children in the Department must be fully supervised at all times.


Supervisors or managers considering employing or offering work placement to a young person must notify the Safety Office to ensure that appropriate risk assessments are completed before offer of employment/placement is made.  Work placements are co-ordinated by the Departmental Outreach Co-ordinator.

Supervisors or Managers must ensure that any young persons within their groups are strictly supervised at all times.

Risk assessment

A risk assessment should be completed before the employment or placement of young persons.  For work placements, the conclusions of the risk assessment and any control measures in place must be brought to the attention of the parents/guardians and the school/authority of the young person. 


 Young persons within the Department are not permitted to work with:

  • radioactive materials
  • X-rays
  • biological agents or genetically modified organisms of containment level 2 or above
  • chemicals of very high hazard, e.g. risk phrases such as very toxic, carcinogenic, toxic to reproduction, may cause heritable genetic damage or may cause sensitisation by inhalation

Risk reduction

 The Department will ensure that young persons are not exposed to risk at work due their age and lack of experience.  In particular, a young persons must not be expected to:

  • work beyond their physical and psychological capabilities (e.g. handle excessive weights, perform frequent repetitive movements etc.)
  • carry out work involving risks to health from noise, vibration and excessive heat or cold
  • perform work which involves exposure to harmful chemicals or biological agents
  • be exposed to physical danger e.g. work at heights, power tools or hazardous equipment.

If young persons are likely to be working with any of the above hazards, control measures must be in place to ensure no significant risk remains and adequate supervision information, instruction and training must be provided. 


Young persons must be given appropriate training when they start and throughout their work period.  This should include:

  • Departmental safety policy and appropriate safety procedures
  • hazards of the job and safety precautions
  • restricted access areas within the Department
  • equipment that may be used and what may not; how to operate the items safely and what to do if something goes wrong
  • hazardous substances to be used and the control measures required for them
  • personal protective and other safety equipment required and why and how it is used
  • first aid facilities and accident reporting
  • emergency procedures e.g. fire, spillage etc.
  • where it is safe to eat, drink etc.
  • general welfare information e.g. toilets, canteen etc.

Ensure that young persons work only within the bounds of the instructions they have received and that they know who to tell if they are unsure of anything or suspect they may be exposing themselves or others to risk.

Safety Office Contact Details





Inglis Building

Main Site

Trumpington Street

Cambridge CB2 1PZ


Gary Steele

Department Safety Officer

Tel: 01223 (3)32740


Steve Wickens

Department Safety Coordinator

Tel: 01223 (7)61455


Matt Greenhalgh

Department Fire Officer

Tel: 01223 (3)32765