Secondary school pupils and students

Safety and health of the workers who have not yet reached the age of 18

The law stipulates that workers under the age of 18 shall enjoy special protection in their employment relationship.

If a worker has not yet reached the age of 18, special rights or work restrictions apply to him.

Such workers may not carry out the following work:

  • hard physical work,
  • underground or underwater work,
  • work involving sources of ionising radiation (e.g. X-rays),
  • work involving risk to health from extreme cold, heat, noise or vibrations,
  • work involving any risk whatsoever to their health and development.

Regarding working time, the law prescribes that:

  • it shall not exceed eight hours a day and 40 hours a week,
  • if workers under the age of 18 work at least four and a half hours per day, they shall have the right to a 30-minute break,
  • they shall have the right to a daily rest of at least 12 hours
  • they shall not work at night between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., whereas, in case of work in cultural, artistic, sporting and advertising activities, they shall not work between midnight and 4 a.m. of the following day,
  • they may exceptionally work at night, when there are not adult workers available to perform the work, but this may happen only exceptionally (in case of emergency).

Workers under the age of 18 have the right to additional seven working days of annual leave.

IF YOU ARE BETWEEN 15 AND 18 YEARS OLD, you are surely capable of performing harder work than the work that can be performed by workers younger than you (look at the list of less demanding work under Primary school children heading (above the age of 13)). However, pay particular attention and think well before you carry out a particular work task. Don't over-estimate your abilities! Some tasks may seem like a piece of cake to you, but such tasks are precisely the ones where accidents may occur in no time.

Students, according to European statistical data, the frequency of injuries at work in workers between 18 and 24 years of age is by 50 per cent higher than in other age groups.

Secondary school pupils and students undertaking a work practice or wishing to earn some money during summer holidays should know that the employer has to ensure them the same level of safety and health at work as he does to the regularly employed workers.

REMEMBER: The employer has a duty to ensure that you work safely and without risk to health, while you must follow his instructions.

The employer has a duty to find out what may jeopardise your safety and health in the workplace, assess the risks and take preventive measures.

A hazard is everything that may cause an injury or a disease. Risk depends on the probability for a disease or injury to occur and on the seriousness (of consequences), on how serious injuries are and on how many people can get injured or ill and the like.

Don’t start working or carrying out tasks if you believe you won’t be able to carry them out safely or if you believe that you didn’t get enough instructions.

Talk to your superiors or parents (particularly if you are under age) if you have any doubts about the safety of your work.

You have the right to be trained to work safely and without risk to health.

If despite everything you still aren’t sure that your work will be safe and without risk to your health, think about whether the payment you will get for the work done is worth your safety and health at all.

Measures the employer has to adopt and take on the basis of the assessment of the risks to health and safety of secondary school pupils and students.