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Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993)


Health and Safety of Children at Work Regulations

Schedule 1: Guidelines on risk assessments and plans of safe work procedures regarding permitted work by child workers

4. Children's characteristics and recommendations for safety



1) Children are in a special time in their development and are not yet ready to take on the duties and responsibilities of adults. Below are characteristics to keep in mind when supervising them in any setting.
a) physical, cognitive, and emotional development differ from adults:
i) physical size, development, maturity, & judgment vary for any given age;
ii) bone plates, ligaments and tendons are still growing;
iii) chemicals metabolize faster and smaller doses may have bigger impacts;
b) more sleep is needed by children than adults at a time when sleep habits and patterns may not be good;
c) children typically explore, experiment, and take risks, but lack a sense of vulnerability; sometimes they try to do "a little more" to prove themselves;
d) children desire acceptance from adults and peers, and are susceptible to peer pressure, yet want to assert their independence;
e) children may be inexperienced in work practices or lack role models for responsibilities associated with the world of work;
f) children often lack assertiveness and may be afraid to ask questions or speak up because they are concerned about looking stupid or losing their job;
g) children may have limited skills in communicating with supervisors.