Young worker safety the focus of WorkSafe ACT’s next proactive audit

Released 22/08/2017

Ensuring young workers remain safe in the workplace or on worksites will be the focus of the next proactive audit to be undertaken by WorkSafe ACT.

Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones said young people, including apprentices or trainees, are often more vulnerable to unsafe work practices than other workers.

“This is because they may be inexperienced in the work they are doing or with more general work practices,” Mr Jones said.

“This proactive audit will focus on work health and safety requirements for employers of young workers as well as ensuring there is an appropriate level of supervision and support, training and proper induction to worksites and workplaces.

“Ensuring workplaces and worksites have policies and supports in place to prevent and address bullying and harassment will also be a key focus, as we know that the effects of such behaviour can be significant and unfortunately can be disproportionally directed at younger workers.”
Mr Jones said WorkSafe ACT would be predominantly focusing on industries and trades of high risk for apprentices and young workers through the audit such as construction, electrical and utilities trades, hospitality, retail, hairdressing and butchery.

“We’ll be taking an ‘engage and educate’ approach to ensure employers understand their responsibilities around health and safety but clearly if we find serious safety concerns we will be taking appropriate action,” Mr Jones said. “We have been working with unions and key employer groups recently on the scope of the audit.”
This is the latest proactive audit to be undertaken by WorkSafe ACT with other areas recently audited being scaffolding safety and crane safety.

“We expect this audit will take about three months with the results to be analysed and published before the end of this year,” Mr Jones said. “During this time WorkSafe will also continue to work with training organisations and employer groups around their responsibilities to ensure workers – including young workers – work safe and go home safe.”

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