A new UnionsACT report into workplace safety of workers aged between 15 to 25 shows that forty percent of young workers have been injured at work, demonstrating a high level of under-reporting of workplace injuries.
The report also found that forty percent of young workers have not been told by their employer what to do if they were injured at work. All workers must receive an induction from their employer that includes information about workplace safety.
This is the second young worker safety report prepared by UnionsACT. The report consisted of interviews and surveys with 223 young workers across Canberra in January and February 2018.
The research found that:
- Forty percent of young workers aged 15 to 25 had been injured at work.
- 36 percent of workers aged under 18 have been injured at work.
- Forty percent of young workers have not been told by their employer what to do if they are injured at work.
- Bullying and harassment of young workers remains constant compared to 2017, with seventy percent of young workers reporting they had been bullied or harassed while at work.
- Awareness of workplace safety rights, policies and laws remains low.
- Young women reported high levels of experiencing sexual harassment while at work.
Young workers aged under 18 continue to be forced to work in unsafe workplaces, despite ACT-specific laws designed to protect child employees.
The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, secretary of UnionsACT:
“Thousands of young people in their first job are faced with unsafe working conditions, injuries, sexual harassment and callous employers.
“Our research again shows that many young workers face serious risks when they go to work, including injuries, threats from customers and supervisors, and intimidation, and unlawful disregard for the law by employers.
“Young workers are injured at work at twice the rate of older workers, and this report confirms that there is significant under-reporting in the official figures.
“It is unacceptable that adult employers are putting people as young as 15 in unsafe working conditions.
“UnionsACT has proposed detailed reforms to the ACT Apprentice and Young Worker Safety Advisory Committee to improve protections for young workers.”