With the school holidays coming to an end and the State’s workers returning from holidays, SafeWork NSW is encouraging businesses to make it a safe start to the year.

Thousands of young workers have also entered the State’s workplaces for the first time, making the need to focus on safety even greater.

According to SafeWork NSW, young workers under the age of 25 accounted for 16 per cent of all injuries in NSW workplaces during 2013/14 with seven fatalities and 15,715 injuries.

Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy said complacency among experienced workers and over-enthusiasm by young workers were major factors in many workplace incidents at this time of year.

“The return to work period at the end of the school holidays requires extra caution on the part of businesses and workers,” Mr Dunphy said.

“Concentration and complacency are issues experienced workers must be conscious of.

“Young workers entering the workforce for the first time are keen to impress which can lead to them to take risks that their more experienced colleagues wouldn’t take.

“This increases the risk of injury at this time of year and is why we’re encouraging businesses to reinforce the need for safety to be the number one priority.”

Mr Dunphy said there were a number of ways that businesses could do this.

“Inductions, toolbox talks or tips for safety that emphasise safe work methods are great ways to reinforce your business’s safety culture,” he said.

“These are particularly important for workers who have had changes to their job or workplace over the break.

“Business must also provide young workers with appropriate training and supervision so that they understand safety procedures and feel confident to speak up about safety issues.”

Further information on young worker safety is available from safework.nsw.gov.au or by calling 13 10 50.

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