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National campaign looks at new and young workers in hospitality

11 March, 2009

Workplace safety authorities across Australia have launched a national workplace safety campaign targeted at new and young workers in the hospitality industry.

Acting WorkSafe executive director John Innes said recently that the campaign was designed to increase the awareness of new workers and those under 25 across the country about their workplace safety and health rights and responsibilities.

“Even though new workers may have some experience, they can lack familiarity with the workplace and receive inadequate induction and training, making them particularly vulnerable to work-related injury,” Innes said.

“The hospitality industry tends to attract a large number of new and young workers, and the industry carries a number of specific hazards.

“In some cases a reluctance to speak up or ask questions can also increase a young person’s risk of injury.”

National guidance material has already been produced in the form of a brochure giving safety tips for new and young workers and their employers.

The material applies to all workplaces and all States, and includes information on:

  • An employer’s responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace; to share information and to provide training and supervision;
  • New and young workers’ responsibilities including working safely, asking when not sure and reporting safety and health concerns.
As part of the campaign, workplace safety inspectors will visit about 200 workplaces across Australia to provide practical advice and assistance on safety requirements specific to new and young workers.

“Visits to workplaces in the hospitality industry in WA – restaurants in particular -commenced at the beginning of this month, and will continue through until May,” Innes said.

“The primary objective of these proactive campaigns is to provide employers with information on how to comply with the laws, but if inspectors find breaches of these laws, they will take enforcement action.

“This campaign will help the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities to aid employers in providing safer workplaces and better understanding their obligations to new and young workers.

“National campaigns are a good example of the States working together to harmonise key areas of workplace safety to reduce injuries and improve outcomes for employers and workers across the board.

“In the end, everybody gains from a higher level of awareness of workplace hazards and how to avoid injuries, particularly to more vulnerable groups such as new and young workers.”

Further information on new and young workers can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 9327 8777 or on the website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au.

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