This year we have seen an overwhelmingly high number of incidents involving new, young and apprentice workers on construction sites. Who can forget the case of the electrical apprentice in Canberra that nearly died earlier this year or the young worker who died after being struck by a reversing front end loader a few weeks ago at a grain storage facility? These incidents are common in Oz and now WorkSafe WA has done something about it.
Employers should provide the correct education, training and supervision to casual workers and treat casual workers as they would other staff members especially when it comes to safety but targeting young people and children even before they enter the workplace may be a good way of instilling a culture of safety in young workers. Young workers can lack the experience, knowledge and skills to identify and deal with potential hazards. Inexperience and a lack of awareness can increase the likelihood of a young worker being injured, so conditioning at an early age may help minimise safety incidents when workers enter the workplace.
Communicating with young workers about health and safety on construction sites is vital. Not only will this have immediate benefits for their safety but will also positively impact their attitude, skills and behaviour on site. That is why it is best to foster an attitude of open discussion and questions to aid in this regard. WorkSafe WA has developed a number of safety resources and information that is specifically aimed at children and young workers that can aid employers in this task. Workers as young as 17 years old are entering the construction world armed with only training (in most cases) and little experience. Using animation, colourful graphics and explanatory text the site encourages children and youngsters to behave safely in a range of different situations, beginning from a young age rather than attempting to change once they have already developed bad, unsafe habits.
Read more about the initiative below according to a post by SafetyCulture.com.au:
Planet ThinkSafe uses animation, colourful graphics and explanatory text to encourage children’s safe behaviour in a range of situations familiar to them: playgrounds, at home, at school and on the road.
It has been developed to suit students from around 7 to 11 years old. Teachers can consolidate the information provided by using the teacher led classroom activities that have been designed to encourage enquiry from students.
WorkSafeSmartMove is designed for students in years ten to twelve to make them a little more aware of what can happen in the workplace. It is also suitable for new workers as a basic induction program. It provides an opportunity to learn about the potential dangers of the workplace, rights and responsibilities.
The activities in WorkSafeSmartMove can be worked through either on or offline, in class or at home. Users start with the general module and then pick the module for the industry in which they will be working. This work will prepare the user for the multiple choice quiz that, if passed, will provide an OSH certificate of completion.
If you need more information visit the site at:http://www.worksafe.wa.gov.au/smartmove/index.htm