Look after new and young workers

  • Date: 16 Jan 2017
  • Categories: WH&S

LSA Safety Alert 02-2017: LOOK AFTER NEW WORKERS – Turfgrowers are reminded of the importance of looking after new workers and ensuring proper training and inductions on farm and on site. Maintaining a safe workplace should be a priority and proper safety procedures should be in place. Read more at: www.bit.ly/2ivGoB0


AusGAP Compliance Manager Nick Dorney has spoken of the importance of training and induction of new and younger workers as many farms and site-works resume into full operation after the holidays.

“You see that this time of the year there can be a few new faces coming on board at many turf farms and it’s important to pay a little additional attention to these new starters,” he said.

Many new turf farm employees don’t necessarily come from farming backgrounds these days, so the use of large and often dangerous farm-type equipment can be quite foreign to them.

“With the introduction of new workers to farm operations or any on-site-type-work there needs to be a solid effort all-round to ensure that safety is a priority . . . It’s the law and stiff penalties apply for breaches,” stresses Dorney.

AusGAP is Australia’s only turfgower assurance program and places a great deal of emphasis on the importance and compliance of growers adhering to workplace health and safety legislation.

Dorney’s warning warning echoes that of the Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy who said in a statement that the return to work period at the end of the school holidays requires extra caution on the part of businesses and workers.

“There are many young workers entering the workforce for the first time who will be keen to impress,” says Dunphy. This can lead to them taking risks that more experienced workers would not and increases the chance of a workplace injury.”

With many young workers entering the workforce for the first time, SafeWork , like AusGAP, is encouraging businesses to provide them with proper training and supervision in order to protect them from injuries.

According to Safework NSW, young workers below the age of 25 accounted for 16 percent of all injuries recorded in NSW workplaces during 2014/15. More than 15,000 young workers were injured during that period and seven killed across NSW alone.

“Businesses need to provide appropriate training and supervision so that they don’t take unnecessary risks and get injured on the job,” said Dunphy.

Businesses are also encouraged to remind experienced workers not to become complacent.

“They also need to reinforce to experienced workers the importance of not becoming complacent as it has been found to be a major contributing factor to workplace injuries at this time of the year,” he said.

“This can be done through inductions, toolbox talks or tips for safety which highlight the business’s safety culture and emphasise safe work methods, and is particularly important for workers who have had changes to their job or workplace over the break.

“That’s why SafeWork is urging businesses to make safety a priority as their experienced workers return from holidays and their young workers commence,” he said.

Further information on protecting young workers can be obtained by calling SafeWork on 13 10 50 or www.safework.nsw.gov.au