11:21 am, Wednesday 11 April, 2012
More than 60 young participants from across the State will join the first ever Youth Workplace Safety Issues Forum where they can share their views on attitudes to safety and injury prevention.
John Watson, General Manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, said that workers under the age of 25 may be more vulnerable to workplace safety risks mainly because of their inexperience and reluctance to speak up about safety concerns.
“Around 12 percent of all employment injuries and occupational diseases occur among the State’s 572,000 young workers,” said Mr Watson.
Young workers will have to face a range of challenges as they start their working lives and can be complacent when it comes to workplace safety.
“We want to help young people build positive, robust safety cultures in their workplaces by raising awareness of hazards.
“WorkCover NSW will listen to what young workers have to say about the risks they have experienced, which will help us to better understand the barriers they face in staying safe at work.”
Facilitating the forum is TV personality, James Mathison. A five-person panel will explore occupational safety issues such as manual handling, bullying, and slips, trips and falls.
Young workers from the manufacturing, construction, retail and hospitality will participate in the forum, and will share their views on workplace safety issues as well as how safety can be improved in their workplaces.
“It is important for both young people and their employers to work together to reduce the risk of injuries and think about ways to improve safety,” added Mr Watson.
“Businesses should ensure appropriate systems are in place for their workers, including sufficient training and support, so they can undertake their work safely and young workers should follow their employers’ safety policies.
“Workers should also follow their employer’s safety policies and speak up or ask questions of they feel a work practice is unsafe or dangerous.”
This event will be hosted by WorkCover NSW and NSW and Youth Advisory Council, and will officially launch Youth Week 2012.