The Andrews Labor Government is reminding employers of the importance of keeping vulnerable young workers safe, with the return of WorkSafe Victoria’s Unsafe is always unacceptable campaign.
The campaign is running on digital and social platforms and features young workers being confronted with questions about their willingness to ignore health and safety concerns if it means they can secure a job.
Out of 23 young workers, 21 said they would work without training, accept bullying and harassment as part of the job, and accept unsafe working conditions to secure employment.
So far this year WorkSafe has accepted 774 injury claims for workers aged between 15-24, in addition to 2390 claims accepted in 2020.
Nineteen per cent of these claims were in the construction industry, making it the most hazardous for young workers. A further 17 per cent were in the manufacturing industry and 8.6 per cent in retail trade.
Young workers may lack experience, can be hesitant to ask questions about how to do things safely or raise safety risks and often don’t know about their health and safety rights.
Employers have a responsibility to ensure every worker is safe, no matter their age or their understanding of important health and safety information.
For young workers this includes ensuring they are correctly trained and empowered to speak up if they have concerns or are unsure how to complete a task safely.
To learn more about rights at work, visit worksafe.vic.gov.au.
As stated by Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt
“No matter what industry you work in, there’s no excuse for failing to protect workers. We’re making this obligation to protect the health and safety of vulnerable workers crystal-clear.”
“Young workers often have a poor understanding of health and safety risks and can feel intimidated to speak up. We want to make sure every workplace is safe and one that everyone knows their rights in.”