The ACT Government continues to support young workers in Canberra by improving safety standards and informing young workers of their rights and responsibilities.
This work forms part of the ACT Government’s Young Worker’s Audit, an initiative which saw WorkSafe ACT engage with more than 577 young workers from six industries.
Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety Rachel Stephen-Smith said since WorkSafe ACT began the audit in 2018, inspectors had worked closely with young people, employers and workers across industries including construction, electrical, carpentry, plumbing, hairdressing, hospitality, automotive and aged care services.
In addition, WorkSafe ACT inspectors presented to 700 stakeholders during the course of the audit including employers, Group Training Organisations, Registered Training Organisations and schools.
“This has been an important undertaking as we know young people, including apprentices and trainees, are often more vulnerable to unsafe work practices than other workers,” she said.
“This can come from inexperience in the work they are doing, or just being new to the workplace. The audit has focused on health and safety obligations for employers of young workers, as well as supervision and support, training and induction to worksites and workplaces.”
WorkSafe ACT inspectors also identified other safety issues during the audit which resulted in notices being issued and highlighted areas for ongoing education and engagement with employers to improve safety.
“An example is the automotive industry where WorkSafe ACT issued 233 Improvement Notices and five Prohibition Notices across 76 motor vehicle repair businesses during the audit,” she said.
“Many of the notices related to the incorrect storage or management of dangerous substances or electrical safety – both of which can present a significant risk to the health and safety of workers.”
Minister Stephen-Smith said that while the official audit around young workers would conclude at the end of June 2019, it would remain a key ongoing focus for government and for regulators.
“We have a dedicated WorkSafe ACT inspector focusing on apprentices to ensure that safety is their number one priority and that supervising employers are aware of their responsibilities.”