Look out for young workers starting their first jobs

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing The Honourable Grace Grace

Employers taking on young people over the holiday season are being urged to ensure workers are properly trained and supervised in their new roles.

Speaking in parliament today, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said young workers have some of the highest injury rates of any workplace group.

“With lots of young people heading into the world of work for the first time, it’s a good time to remind employers they have a duty of care to train and supervise them in proper safety procedures,” Ms Grace said.

“The message for employers is clear – young workers are keen to do a good job for their new bosses, but often lack experience in how to work safely. So give them the right tools and set them up for success.”

Minister Grace said employers of young workers are required to have risk management strategies and their rights to a safe working environment explained to them, including:

  • how to identify and manage psychosocial hazards like bullying, harassment, or work-related violence and aggression
  • workplace safety communication and consultation processes
  • requirements for workplace training, supervision, and incident reporting

Minister Grace also reminded employers that like all workers, young workers deserve to be paid a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

“I expect that all Queensland employers pay their workers properly,” Ms Grace said.

“And, for those who don’t, we have strong wage theft laws which make it a criminal offence to deliberately underpay workers.”

Ms Grace said the workers themselves had responsibilities too, including following all reasonable instructions, policies and procedures, not knowingly putting themselves or their workmates at risk, and wearing personal protective equipment as required.

“It is important to actively participate in the way that work health and safety is managed at your workplace. This means taking induction and training seriously,” Ms Grace said.

For advice on young worker safety, including health and safety tips for workers and supervisors, and information on protective gear, visit worksafe.qld.gov.au.

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