OHS and WHS: keeping young workers safe

Local businesses are being urged to prioritise the safety of young workers in the lead-up to Christmas, with the government asking businesses to remain vigilant.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the number of young workers (aged 25 years and under), killed or injured in NSW has declined over the past four years, however young people should never feel pressured to work in dangerous conditions, or feel rushed to complete a job before the Christmas holidays.

“They may not have the experience to recognise serious risks so their supervisors must provide the appropriate guidance to ensure young workers stay safe,” said Kean.

“In the past four years, the number of young worker fatalities has declined from 10 in 2012/13, to five in 2015/16 – but this is still five too many.

“In relation to injuries, on average 42 young people are injured each day on the job, and that’s completely unacceptable.”

According to Kean, young workers are often enthusiastic and keen to impress their employers, which is exactly why ongoing management is absolutely vital.

“Businesses should continue to provide training and supervision all year round,” Kean said.

“This includes induction programs and safety training so young workers understand their business’s safety policies and procedures. Young workers should also be encouraged to speak up about any safety issues they identify to ensure everyone in the workplace remains safe.”

“The last thing we want to see is another employee injured, which is why everyone has a role to play to ensure every worker has a safe and happy Christmas.”


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