With thousands of young people about to enter the workforce for the first time, Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce is encouraging employees to know their workplace safety, rights and obligations.

Mr Pearce said thousands of school leavers and tertiary graduates are about to start their first full time jobs while others may take on casual work while continuing their studies.

“With a high volume of young people starting a job for the first time, it’s important to know how to avoid injury in the workplace,” Mr Pearce said.

“Injuring yourself at work is not something many young people would think about during the excitement of starting a new role but injuries can have a devastating and life-changing impact.

“Workers under 25 may be more vulnerable to workplace safety risks because of their youth and inexperience or reluctance to speak up about safety concerns,” he said.

Mr Pearce said employers should also be vigilant when it comes to young workers by providing adequate training, induction and supervision and encourage ongoing consultation about risk management, injury reporting and safe work methods.

“There are more than half a million young workers in New South Wales and around 12 per cent of all employment injuries and occupational diseases occur among workers under the age of 25,” Mr Pearce said.

“The message is simple – never underestimate the importance of workplace safety and be proactive about seeking advice on how to identify hazards and to carry out their work safely,” he said.

“Open dialogue between young workers, experienced colleagues and their employer can help prevent a tragedy.

Every injury is one too many and most can be avoided,” Mr Pearce said.

WorkCover has a range of free resources for young workers, for details visit www.youngworkers.com.au or call 13 10 50

You can read the PDF version of this media release.

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