Safety program for young workers

Friday, 06 February, 2009

Over the past four-and-a-half years, 15 young WA workers have been killed in work-related incidents. In addition, every day in WA around 10 young workers are injured at work seriously enough to require time off.

To help reduce this tragic toll, an updated version of SmartMove — WorkSafe’s safety and health website for young workers — has been launched.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne said SmartMove was the most popular section of the WorkSafe website: “The first half of the current financial year saw around 50,000 visitor sessions on the SmartMove website, so it is very successful.

“Young people are at greater risk in workplaces because of their relative inexperience and sometimes because they may not have the maturity to understand hazards and their potential consequences. They may also be less likely to speak out about workplace hazards, not fully realising that they have a right to a safe and healthy workplace and a responsibility to try to keep others safe as well.

“SmartMove aims to give young adults starting their first job a good general background on their rights and responsibilities for safety and health in the workplace.

“I urge students, teachers and parents to encourage the use of the SmartMove package — if it saves even one young person from an injury, or worse, it serves its intended purpose.”

The updated SmartMove website has broader content with the addition of clips, downloads and links to interactive games and videos. It provides one general module with general information on workplace safety and health, along with 10 industry modules containing more detailed information on hazards specific to each industry.

Students read the information then complete a test on the modules. When an industry module is successfully completed, SmartMove generates a certificate acknowledging the user’s participation. The content is tied to what students learn at school or TAFE and the certificate can be formally recognised as a credit towards school or TAFE study.

“The SmartMove program is a safety and health resource aimed at young adults who are undertaking work experience and work placements,” Lyhne said. “It aims to teach young people about their rights and responsibilities for helping to ensure that the workplace is safe and healthy, both for themselves and others in the workplace.”

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