As schools wrap up for the year, many young Queenslanders are taking up holiday jobs or kicking off their careers. Employers must ensure these new starters receive a thorough induction, training and supervision so they know how to work safe.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said young workers often ignore risks in order to impress their bosses, regardless of whether it was just a casual holiday job or they were in it for the long haul.
“We are about to enter a busy period, especially for retail, so it’s important for businesses taking on extra staff to plan ahead and get them on board with enough time to get them job ready.
“There is no point in rushing to get inexperienced workers on the shop floor unprepared or unequipped with the knowledge and training they need to perform their duties safely.
“This applies to any new workers, but it’s particularly important for young workers who may not speak up if they have questions or concerns,” Ms Grace said.
“Just a few months ago, a sheet metal fabrication business and a company director were fined $40,000 over a workplace amputation in Crestmead.
“In this instance, a young work experience student had the tip of his finger amputated.
“The business and company director simply failed to meet their basic work health and safety duties.
“The presiding Magistrate also noted there were no appropriate induction training and supervision processes for young workers.
“It’s no secret that young inexperienced workers have a unique risk profile.
“Employers must take this into account and provide proper induction, training and supervision, then back that up with plenty of support.
“Young workers don’t know what they don’t know. They learn by watching more experienced team members and their supervisors.
“Investing in their safety is an investment in your most valuable asset—your employees.”