Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments First Report


APPENDIX VI

Memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport

and the Regions

MERCHANT SHIPPING AND FISHING VESSELS (HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK) (EMPLOYMENT OF YOUNG PERSONS) REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/2411)

The Committee has requested a memorandum on the following point:

    Regulation 5(1) seeks to implement article 7(1) of Council Directive 94/33/EC by requiring appropriate measures to be taken to protect young persons at work from the risks to their health and safety. Please explain why regulation 5(1), unlike article 7(1), does not contain a reference to risks to the development of young persons; compare regulation 7(1)(a) which reproduces the reference, in article 6(2), to a risk to the development of young people.

In relation to the duties in regulation 5, the Secretary of State considered that risks to the development of young persons would be a matter of judgment, which an employer without expert professional assistance would not be able to make. Any obligation on him to ensure that young persons were protected from risk to their development would need to be one that he could meet.

Since article 7(2) of Council Directive 94/33/EC provides that the general obligation in article 7(1) is met by prohibiting specified work, the Secretary of State considers he has met the obligation in paragraph (1) by:

  —  prohibiting the engagement of a young person in any of the types of work set out in article 7(2) (regulation 5(4));

  —  requiring that when the assessment under regulation 5 is carried out, regard shall be had to specified agents, processes and work which are listed in the Annex to the Directive (regulation 5(5) and the Schedule); and

  —  ensuring that on-going free health assessment is available to the young person if the assessment has disclosed the presence of an agent, process or work which has been identified as posing a risk to the development of the young person (regulation 7(1)).

The Secretary of State believes that the above requirements not only meet the requirements of article 7(1) of the Directive, but can be enforced against the duty holder if necessary.

12th November 1998


 
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