Young and new at work
New to the job
When you are young and start to work or practise, it is extra important to know your rights in the workplace. Everyone has the right, for example, to reasonable working hours, a thorough introduction and training in how all machines work at the workplace.
Every year, 3000 young people have accidents while doing their job. Young people are also extra sensitive to, for example, heavy lifting or dangerous substances. It is therefore very important that you are aware about what applies at your particular place of work.
If you are a minor, that is, under the age of 18, there are special regulations in the Work Environment Authority’s provisions about minors. Some regulations apply differently depending on how old you are. It can be, for example, how long you are allowed work in the evenings or which working tasks you are allowed to have.
You have the right to introduction and guidance
When you start a new job, there is a lot that is new. That is why it is important that you receive a good introduction, during which you find out about your tasks at work and the risks that exist. If you are under 18 years of age you should, in addition, have a supervisor you can turn to.
In the introduction you should find out:
- what your tasks and duties are and what you are not allowed to do
- how tools and machines work
- which work environment rules apply
- what risks exist and how you can protect yourself from them.
From your supervisor you should find out your working tasks and which risks can exist at the workplace. It is very important that you feel you understand and that you can always ask your supervisor if you are unsure. Your supervisor must always be available for questions and support when you work.
Your manager is responsible for the work environment
The person who is the manager at the workplace should make sure that the work environment is good. Say something if you discover something that can hurt you or someone else, so that the manager can do something about it.
For you to be able to work safely, the manager should always think about your prerequisites. You should receive working tasks that you can do safely. You who are under 18 years of age should, for example, not lift too heavy loads or be in situations that can be unsafe or risky.
The employer is responsible for your safety at the workplace. This means that the employer needs to arrange several important things before you start to work. It could be good for you to know what applies, despite the fact that it is the employer’s responsibility.
Approval of legal guardian
Until the year you turn 16, you are considered a younger and older child. In this case the employer must contact your legal guardian and receive their approval for you to work.
Inform the safety representative
The safety representative is the employees’ representative in work environment management. Ask a colleague or manager who the safety representative at your job is. If there is a safety representative the employer should let them know that you as a young person are starting to work at the workplace. All workplaces with more than five employees should have a safety representative.
Dare to ask and say no
You should not become ill or be injured by your work. Neither should you have back pain or become stiff from executing the same movements for several hours at a time. Your manager must see that the work environment is good – but cannot know everything that is happening. So ask about the risks and say something if you discover something that can hurt you or someone else.
Last updated 2015-12-21