Help Available for NSW First Time Workers

As many young people enter the workforce in 2019, it’s important that they have access to help and advice to face the challenges of life on the job site, particularly for those entering trade fields.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean recently announced the SafeWork Young Workers eToolkit which he said is a resource to help more than 500 000 young workers across the state of NSW.

As Mr Kean highlighted, it can be daunting starting work for the first time especially for young people who are inexperienced and eager to please. Young people often don’t know their rights when it comes to workplace health and safety issues like harassment or bullying, that is why the toolkit can prove so helpful.

The toolkit is a free-to-access tool which also has real life stories and advice for young workers.

Mr Kean explained,

“It’s often hard enough for older workers to have confidence when dealing with workplace health and safety issues, let alone young people entering the workplace for the first time.


Some of the issues that the toolkit covers includes bullying, abuse by customers, injuries at work and mental health issues.

The toolkit is important because this group of workers has been identified as ‘at risk’. In 2017 there were six fatalities involving people under the age of 25 in NSW.

In the 2015-2016 more than 13,000 temporary disability and 3 permanent disability claims were made by young workers.

“These statistics are devastating. We want to make sure young workers, their supervisors and employers have the best information possible to avoid tragedies in the workplace,” Mr Kean said.

“The last thing we want to see is new workers being put in dangerous situations, especially if it’s the first job they’ve ever had.

“It’s essential that businesses provide refresher training and adequate supervision all year round. This should include things like induction programs and safety training, so young workers understand safety policies and procedures.


For those entering the construction industry for the first time, whether young or old, it’s important not only that they are supervised until they are more at ease and comfortable with the work involved, but that they are adequately trained. Training for the construction industry is not just task specific or site specific, while these are important – general construction induction training is mandatory for all workers.

General construction induction training or how to work safely in the construction industry training is a basic requirement mandated by the federal government in 2012 when workplace health and safety laws were unified. It’s important that employers ensure all workers, are in possession of a white card, the proof that they have completed this induction safety training. For more visit

Silicosis Claims Young Workers Life

A Gold Coast tradesman who was diagnosed with silicosis, the deadly lung disease has died.

Anthony White, the 36 year old tradie was diagnosed in November 2017 and since then has highlighted the consequences of prolonged exposure and lack of protection against exposure to silica dust.

Silicosis is the scarring of the lung tissue caused by silica dust inhalation.

Mr White was the first Queensland worker from the engineered stone industry with the illness to have passed away.

WorkSafe highlighted the importance of preventing further tragedies of this nature by ensuring employers meet their obligations to provide safer workplaces.

See more

Builder Fined Over Apprentice Death

A building firm and its director, have been fined $88,000 following the 2013 death of a 21 year old apprentice at a Caulfield South site.

The building company and director pleaded guilty to one charge each of failing to provide and maintain a safe working environment.

The company was carrying out carpentry work at an apartment complex under construction when an apprentice installed first floor trusses and laid the first floor.The block wall was completed up to the second level where the apprentice and director were working when flooring sheets weighing a 1.76 tonnes were placed on the floor and the trusses collapsed.

The trusses then fell on to the first floor and then both floors collapsed to the ground. The director was injured and his apprentice was trapped under the debris and passed away at the scene. See more at

Serious Crane Accident Injures Worker

A tradesman has landed in hospital with injuries after being hit by a falling load at a worksite at Griffith.

The load weighing 500kg was being lifted by a small mobile crane when it slipped and became partially disconnected.

Thankfully the entire load did not fall on the man as the load was still partially supported by the crane.

The man, in his thirties was treated in hospital. He was lucky to suffer only minor injuries.

Safety Blitz Targets Mobile Plant on Building Sites

WorkSafe is targeting poor safety around mobile plant following a decade of incidents, injuries and fatalities involving machinery such as cranes, elevated work platforms, front end loaders, forklifts, skid steer loaders, concrete trucks and other powered mobile plant.
In the last decade, 16 people have been killed due to these types of machines which is why WorkSafe has launched a new campaign to reduce fatalities and injuries on construction sites.
Over the course of the month, inspectors will be checking to ensure employers and contractors have identified the hazards associated with mobile plant and control the risks to workers and the public in general.

According to WorkSafe’s Executive Director of Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, the construction sector continued to have a high number of workplace injuries and fatalities annually.

“Last year seven construction workers lost their lives, and a number of these tragic incidents involved vehicles or powered mobile plant being operated on site,” she explained.


She also explained that because heavy and mobile machinery are common to the construction industry, often used only for short periods of time, hazards need to be assessed and re-assessed constantly, keeping in mind that construction sites are dynamic and changing all the time. As construction progresses and the site change, so will the hazards and risks presented.

“As construction sites change and develop, so do the risks to people on the site,” she said.

“Part of the obvious risks with mobile machinery is that they move from place to place at different times, which means managing the risks to employees and site visitors must be an ongoing process.

“That’s why it is critical that employers outline to workers the work that needs to be done, the potential risks involved, and identify how the risks must be controlled. Appropriate training and clear exclusion zones are essential, because pedestrians and powered mobile machinery simply do not mix.” she said.


There were some safety measures that Ms Williams said should be considered:

  • All operators of heavy plant and machinery should be appropriately trained and competent.
  • Machinery must be regularly inspected and maintained.
  • Where a traffic management plan is necessary, it must be reviewed and updated regularly


Man in Hospital After Being Impaled at Work

Photo source: 7 News
Photo source: 7 News

The second serious construction accident in 2 days took place on September 26 at a construction site in Sydney’s north, involving a 24 year old construction worker who had his leg impaled by a piece of steel.

The worker fell from a construction site and landed on the steel, which pierced through his left thigh at a worksite in Pymble.

The worker was flown to Royal North Shore Hospital in a stable condition.

SafeWork NSW is apparently investigating the accident at the Pymble site.


Tradesman Returns from Disaster Relief Efforts


Tradespeople are getting a chance to give back and help those in need with their skills.

I just read about a Katoomba tradie who returned from a humanitarian trip to earthquake affected Nepal earlier this year. The tradie speaks candidly about his experience rebuilding a school destroyed by the earthquake, describing the ‘tough’ conditions working in the remote village of Maidi, 160km west of Kathmandu.

Some of the hardships included extremely high temperatures and the lack of basic equipment that we would ordinarily make construction work alot easier.

The expedition was linked to the Rotary Club and another one is expected to return to the area in March. If you’re interested, email [email protected] or contact 0412 396 202.



Act Building Inspectors to be Available on Weekends

construction worker

Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe will be investigating the need for building inspectors to be made available on weekends to stop builders avoiding development rules.

The ACT’s work safety watchdog received complaints about an inner south construction company which had both a prohbition notice and stop notice issued this year for unapproved work on its business land.

McCabe said a 24 hour Work Safe hotline is available which enabled a Work Safe inspector to be called with powers enough to stop work until the next business day, at least.