Yet another apprentice worker has been injured while working from an elevated platform repairing damage to a ceiling. The 17 year old apprentice plumber fell through the roof of a shopping centre in Bathurst, resulting in his hospitalisation at Bathurst Base Hospital.
Although the full details of the incident have not yet been released, this is yet another case of how vulnerable young people are on construction sites and in the trade industries especially when left unsupervised.
Read more about the incident below with a post from SafetyCulture.com.au:
WorkCover NSW is investigating an incident today where an apprentice plumber plunged three-and-a-half meters after falling through a roof at a Bathurst shopping centre.
The 17-year-old man fell from an elevated platform while repairing damage to a ceiling.
The teenager was admitted to Bathurst Base Hospital but has since been released.
A Work Cover inspector attended the accident site this afternoon. The safety watchdog is continuing its investigations into the incident.
The 2 most important issues associated with hiring young workers is training them sufficiently and supervising them. Although trained, young people should never just be left to their own devices no matter how busy the site may be or how well you think they know the job. Young people need to be supervised because they have not yet developed the skills and experience needed to keep themselves safe on site.
Following all the incidents involving apprentice tradespeople this year while on the job, WorkCover NSW has issued a reminder to businesses to ensure the safety of these young and inexperienced workers.
According to the General Manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division John Watson, young workers are often in their first job and require supervision and assistance. Especially at this time of year we have a number of new workers entering the worksite that have just finished school and started working, these young people are not only new to the trade but new to work in general and for this reason they need to be protected.
Watson says that workers aged below 25 may be more vulnerable to workplace safety risks because of their youth and inexperience or reluctance to speak up about safety concerns. In NSW 12 per cent of workplace injuries occur among young workers, even though they only make up a small percentage of the workforce.
According to an article on SafetyCulture.com.au, WorkCover NSW provided the following advice for employers regarding the safety of young workers:
Provide adequate training and supervision in all tasks
Provide a comprehensive induction
Identify safety risks and put in place procedures to reduce and control the risks
Encourage open communication about safety issues
For young workers:
Follow all safety procedures and ask questions if uncertain
Report any risks and hazards to a supervisor or colleague
Use safety equipment and protective clothing if needed
Do not fool around with machinery
Find out how to report an injury