The next stage of WorkSafe Victoria’s and SafeWork NSW’s Cross Border Construction Program will commence in Echuca later this month.

The Program, which involves inspectors from both work health and safety regulators visiting construction sites on either side of the Border, will visit Echuca and Moama from Monday, 21 – Friday, 25 November.

During the visits inspectors will focus on young worker safety as well as explain the similarities between the states’ work health and safety laws, address perceived impediments to working across the Border and ensure health and safety.

SafeWork NSW Director, Regional and Response Operations, Tony Williams said the visits were timely with many students about to leave school and expected to commence a building apprenticeship.

“With thousands of young workers entering the region’s workplaces for the first time shortly, the need to focus on safety in the construction industry is even greater,” Mr Williams said.

“Young workers are keen to impress and take risks that more experienced workers may not.

“Unfortunately 12 per cent of all injuries in NSW workplaces occurred among the State’s young workers during 2011/12 with 19,561 workplace injuries and seven fatalities, including 989 incidents in the Border region and South West NSW.”

WorkSafe Victoria Construction Manager Dermot Moody said it was vital employers provided adequate training, support and information to young workers.

“Our data shows 49 young people aged 15-24 were injured every week in 2015/16 in Victoria and construction was one of the leading sectors where injuries occurred,” Mr Moody said.

“Apart from controlling and eliminating workplace risks, employers must take time to educate their young workers of potential risks involved in completing certain tasks. This can be done by ensuring adequate training and supervision, as well as site inductions and toolbox talks to keep safety front of mind.”

To raise awareness about the visits, SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria will hold a trade breakfast meeting on Friday, 11 November at Dahlsens Building Centre, Ogilvie Avenue, Echuca with the local construction industry. Speakers include NSW Fair Trading Building Inspector, Dispute Resolutions and Inspector Branch, David Gibbs, Dermot Moody, Manager, Construction Program, Worksafe Victoria and Caroline MacSmith, Senior Project Officer, Office of the NSW Cross Border Commissioner. The meeting will be held from 7am - 8.30am with visits commencing Monday, 21 November 2016.

For further information on the project and young worker safety visit www.worksafe.vic.gov.au or our at risk workers page.

Media contacts: WorkSafe Victoria: (03) 9641 1520 or 0434 685 577, SafeWork NSW: (02) 4321 5474 or 0413 186 799

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