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Health and safety of specific vulnerable people

Updating author: Ruth Wintersgill


  • The law requires employers to assess the risks to all employees including vulnerable groups. (See Vulnerable people overview)
  • Greater legal protection is given to young persons because they may lack experience or awareness of potential risks, or be immature. (See Children and young persons)
  • An employer should carry out a risk assessment at the start of the employment of a woman of childbearing age. (See Women of childbearing age (including new or expectant mothers))
  • Employers must make reasonably practicable adjustments for the benefit of all employees with a level of ill health or a disability with health and safety implications, not just those protected by the Equality Act 2010. (See Disabled persons)
  • Night workers are given additional protection under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833). (See Night workers)
  • Employed homeworkers are given almost the same legal protection as other employed members of staff who usually work on the employer's premises. (See Homeworkers)
  • As a general rule lone working is not illegal but an employer must take a number of factors into consideration when deciding if a lone worker can work safely. (See Lone workers)
  • Temporary workers are given special protection under reg.15 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/3242). (See Temporary workers)

Sector resources

Additional resources on this topic are available for the following sectors: