For parents and guardians

While the prospect of entering the workforce can be an exciting time for your child, it can very quickly become an overwhelming experience for them.

Workplace incidents can have a significant impact on your child’s life and everyone in your family.

As a trusted source of advice and information, you can play an important role in supporting and guiding your child to understand what health and safety responsibilities they may have in their workplace, as well as their rights and entitlements.

Below is a range of information and resources to help you.

Talk about work health and safety

BEFORE they start work

Start the conversation about workplace health and safety before they start work so they’re better prepared from day one.

Examples of what you could talk about:

  1. use your own experience or do some research to discuss different hazards they might come across
  2. encourage your child to look for information on workplace safety
  3. encourage your child to ask questions about health and safety policies and procedures and what health and safety training they will be receiving
  4. Do you or your child know someone who was injured in a workplace accident? Use this experience to convey the message that injuries can have life-changing consequences.

WHEN they start work

It’s an employer’s responsibility to keep all employees safe and healthy at work, regardless of the type and terms of their employment (full time, part time, work experience, labour hire, job trial, work placement).

Talk to your child about their job, including any health and safety concerns they might have. Here are examples of questions you may want to ask your child:

  • what type of tasks at work do you do? Or ask your child for examples of what they did today and how?
  • how safe do you feel completing these tasks?
  • what kind of training did you receive? Did you understand how to complete the task safely?
  • if you have a problem at work do you know who you talk to?
  • do you feel comfortable saying no to unsafe work?
  • on your first day did you receive an induction (introduction to the workplace, job and working environment – may include safety training)?
  • do you know how to operate equipment safely?
  • what types of personal protective equipment are you using? What condition is this equipment in?
  • do you know who your direct supervisor is and how to contact that person?
  • do you know what to do if you are injured on the job?

Who's responsible?

Select one of the tabs below for a quick guide:

Even if your workers are temporary visa holders, permanent resident, Australian citizen, they are covered by work health and safety laws.

  • take reasonable care for their own health and safety
  • take reasonable care for the health and safety of others
  • comply with any reasonable instructions, policies and procedure given by their employer, business or controller of the workplace.

More information

Some practical ways of carrying out your duty of care responsibilities include ensuring:

  • the work environment, systems of work, machinery and equipment are safe and properly maintained
  • information, training, instruction and supervision are provided
  • adequate workplace facilities are available for workersany accommodation you provide to your workers is safe
  • workers’ health and workplace conditions are monitored
  • chemicals are handled and stored safely.

More information

Your duties include:

  • making decisions about health and safety that may affect work activities or other people
  • ensuring legal requirements regarding health and safety are met
  • actioning safety reports and carrying out workplace inspections
  • ensuring safe work method statements are completed
  • ensuring safe work practices
  • conducting inductions and regular safety briefings
  • participating in incident investigations
  • leading by example and promoting health and safety at every opportunity.

More information

We’ve created six interactive diagrams that will show you some everyday safety hazards and how to avoid them in the workplace. Can you find them all?

Real stories

You can also watch these real-life stories of young workers:

Joany was just a child when she lost her left leg below the knee following a tractor accident on her family's farm.

Hear about the effect her injury had on her life and those around her, inspiring her drive to overcome adversity and achieve excellence as a Paralympian.

At 18, Tiffany Ward was severely injured at work when both of her arms were caught in a potato processing auger.

Hear about her  battle to live with the physical and emotional consequences of her injury.

Tim was a second-year electrical apprentice when he was involved in a fatal incident.

His story highlights the importance of adequate supervision and guidance for young workers.


What to do if your child has been injured at work

If your child sustains a work-related injury or illness, you should:

  • have them notify their employer immediately. They will need to give them the date and time of injury, or the period over which the injury emerged, a description of how the injury happened, and a description of the injury.
  • seek medical treatment (if required)
  • ask their employer for their workers compensation insurer details. If the employer doesn’t notify the insurer within 48 hours your child or you on their behalf can notify the insurer.
  • focus on what they can do and talk to their doctor and employer about what they can do safely. Work will help them stay active and will be an important part of their recovery. The longer they are away from work, the harder it can be to get back to work.
  • encourage them to stay in touch with their employer and the insurer
  • use the State Insurance Regulatory Authority's Have you been injured a work? tool to look into programs and services available to support their recovery at work.

Who is SIRA?

You can find out more about workers compensation from State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA)

SIRA’s role is to make sure the workers compensation system provides the best possible outcomes for workers, while remaining affordable and sustainable in the long term. This includes:

  • supervising insurers so they comply with legislation, and understand their obligations to workers and employers
  • helping employers understand their roles and obligations within the workers compensation system
  • educating workers about their rights and responsibilities
  • manage and approve some health providers
  • assist to resolve queries and concerns relating to the workers compensation system.

SIRA can be contacted via phone on 13 10 50, via email contact@sira.nsw.gov.au or see our website.


Tips to help your child to stay healthy and safe at work

  1. check in, see how things are going
  2. make sure they received an induction (introduction to the workplace, job and working environment – may include safety training)
  3. make sure they receive Work Health and Safety training
  4. make sure they know what to do if they’re injured
  5. encourage them to speak up
  6. reinforce that they have the right to refuse unsafe work
  7. tell them to trust their gut feelings. If they are asked to do anything that feels unsafe, or they are unsure of the safe way to perform tasks, suggest that they always check with their supervisor before going ahead
  8. talk to your child about letting their employer know about any existing health conditions that might place their health and safety at greater risk, for example, due to hearing impairment or asthma, so they can take these properly into account to ensure the health and safety of your child
  9. model good health and safety practices at home, for example, use protective equipment when doing things like mowing the lawn and using power tools. This will influence your child to replicate the same positive behaviours that helps to keep them healthy and safe.

Useful posters and guides:

Getting supoprt

You can print out this guide and keep it handy.  It includes a for a range of information you’re faced with a difficult situation at work.

Find out more
The basics - your rights at work

It doesn't matter what type of worker you are, you are covered by work health and safety laws that apply to everyone in Australia. This guide explains your rights.

Find out more
Young workers infographic poster

Print out this poster to show your children the statics on young workers and why it's everyone's job to help keep them safe.

Find out more
Young workers and mental health

Read about the statistics on young workers and mental health so that you can help them stay healthy and safe.

Find out more
Young workers fact sheet

There are a number of risk factors that impact a young workers's ability to stay safe.

Find out more
Easy to do work health and safety

The 'easy to do work health and safety toolkit' makes it easier for small businesses to understand their work health and safety obligations.

Find out more

Useful web pages

Find out more about workplace rights to help you guide your child.

Contacts

In alphabetical order

Anti-Discrimination Board

P: 1800 670 812

E: complaintsadb@justice.nsw.gov.au

Australian Taxation Office

P: 13 28 65 (individuals)

P: 13 72 26 (businesses)

Fair Work Commission

P: 1300 799 675 (out of hours emergency 0419 318 011)

E: sydney@fwc.gov.au

Fair Work Ombudsman

P: 13 13 94

Human Rights Commission

P: 1300 656 419

E: complaintsinfo@humanrights.gov.au

icare

P: 13 77 22

E: newclaims@eml.com.au

Lawstuff

P: 9385 9588

E: admin@ncylc.org.au

SafeWork NSW

P: 13 10 50

E: contact@safework.nsw.gov.au

SIRA

P: 13 10 50

E: contact@sira.nsw.gov.au

NSW Police

P: 131 444 (general enquiries)

National Relay Service (24 hour service)

TTY/voice calls: 133 677

Speak & Listen: 555 727

SMS relay: 0423 677 767

NSW Ombudsman

P: 1800 451 524

E: nswombo@ombo.nsw.gov.au

Office of eSafety Commissioner

P: 1800 880 176

Revenue NSW

P: 9689 6200

Translation Information Service

P: 131 450 (24 hour service)

National Relay Service (24 hour service)

TTY/voice calls: 133 677

Speak & Listen: 555 727

SMS relay: 0423 677 767

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