Work Experience

legal updates

The student is there to gain an understanding of the business and should not be deemed as just an extra pair of hands to assist.

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An individual on a work experience placement was involved in an accident which led to the company being prosecuted.

The company Radwell International Limited (R) had the student on a placement within the warehouse. The student was allowed to help with some of the deliveries, in particular he was asked to hold a large electrical panel steady on a pallet. He was unable to do so and the pallet fell and trapped him against the forks of a fork lift truck. His injuries included five compression fractures to his pelvis and a head injury. The HSE launched a investigation and found R had failed to ensure the safety of the individual, specifically failing to complete suitable risk assessment of the task he was asked to assist with. No training had been provided and was not supervised. R was fined £86,666 plus £12,143 for costs.

To avoid this happening to you, bear in mind the principle – the student is there to gain an understanding of the business and should not be deemed as just an extra pair of hands to assist.

Ensure all tasks have been assessed and it is deemed safe for the student to be involved. Any of the tasks which require significant manual handling or specific training experience should be avoided all together. Ensure a full health and safety induction is carried out which highlights:

–    Any site specific risks
–    Any health and safety rules which apply
–    The emergency procedures (in the event of a fire)
–    What to do in the event of an accident (first aiders, accident forms)
–    Who is their supervisor whilst on the premises

Remember to maintain a paper trail for the duration of the placement.

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Roxanne BradleyLegal AdvisorRead More by this author

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