For parents

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. Everything is new and there’s so much to learn. This means they may not recognise dangers in their workplace – for example, running machinery, working at heights, and even potentially violent situations.

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.

Understand your child’s industry

Safety concerns differ across industries. Find out about the main concerns in your child’s industry and how to address them.

Information about:  retail, construction, accommodation, hospitality,  health care and social assistance, manufacturing

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:

  • Use your own experience or do some research to discuss different hazards in their industry.
  • Encourage your child to look for information on workplace safety (insert young workers landing page)
  • Perhaps you or your child know someone who was injured in a workplace accident. Use this experience to convey the message: Injuries can have life-changing consequences. You can even watch the following real-life case stories of young workers (insert link to case study videos)
  • Encourage your child to ask questions about health and safety policies and procedures and what health and safety training they will be receiving.

Talk about work health and safety – 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 new job, includingany 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?
  • 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?

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 48hrs 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
  • Look into programs and services available to support their recovery at work https://www.sira.nsw.gov.au/haveyoubeeninjured/start

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

  • Check in, see how things are going
  • Make sure they received an induction (introduction to the workplace, job and working environment – may include safety training)
  • Make sure they receive Work Health and Safety training
  • Make sure they know what to do if they’re injured
  • Encourage them to speak up
  • Reinforce that they have the right to refuse unsafe work
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

Know the services that can support your child

Insert link to html page of ‘Getting support at work’.

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