Across the world there has been a proliferation of Take your Kids to Work Days in recent years. This is largely in order to let our next generation see what it is that we do, day in and day out.
Taking your kids to work can be a great opportunity to show them what it is we do for a living, educate them about the world of work, and encourage an interest in your line of work (should you want to, that is). For many kids, it may be their first experience of the workplace so it’s important that we create a good impression.
At other times, it may be necessary to bring your kids to work when you’re just popping in, running an errand or sorting out a last minute or weekend problem.
However, whether you’re just popping in or whether it’s an organised ‘bring your kids to work day’, health and safety should be a main priority. Obviously, this does depend on the nature of your work. For example, an office is a far safer environment than a manufacturing floor or heavy industrial plant. However, in each and every case, to ensure good practice you should conduct a risk assessment and ensure it is a safe environment for children to be in first.
Before they get there
In preparation for brining your kids to work, you should conduct an inspection of the work area prior to the day to make sure it is safe and as free from hazards as possible. It may be worth holding a workplace orientation with your kids when they arrive so that they know what is what, and make sure they are supervised at all times throughout the day. If they are actually going to be carrying out some small tasks while in the workplace - to get a feel for the world of work - then these need to be fully risk assessed and full training and instruction given.
Encourage kids to discuss their concerns
It’s also a good idea to encourage your kids to speak up about any health or safety concerns that they may have about the working environment. They might have questions about safety, including the operation of machinery, care of hazardous substances and more that may even challenge your own existing conception of workplace safety. Out of the mouths of babes and all that.
Check that correct fitting PPE is available
If may also be necessary to ensure you have adequately provided and sized any personal protective equipment necessary during the day. If children will require safety helmets, gloves or other PPE, then it needs to fit correctly in order to serve its proper purpose.
Looking after the safety of your kids is the number one priority in life. And if you’re bringing them into your workplace this remains the case. There should be procedures in place to ensure the safety of any visitor to your workplace, no matter what kind of work you do. Follow these to the letter and there is no reason your kids can’t enjoy a day at your work in complete safety.