Young workers: Safety basics

Young workers need extra support when it comes to workplace safety.

Date last updated

Friday 21 Aug 2020

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  • Automotive
  • Construction
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Young worker - kitchen TV commercial

Who are young workers?

Young workers are aged 15–24 and are often part-time or casual workers. They may also work full time or as an apprentice or trainee. Young workers are a very vulnerable group of employees, with injury rates out of proportion with other worker age groups.

Research shows that many young workers don't get proper training. They don't always understand their rights and responsibilities and don't see themselves as a high-risk group. Young workers need extra support to ensure they are able to carry out tasks correctly and safely.

High-risk industries

The following industries are particularly high-risk for young workers:

  • construction
  • manufacturing
  • hospitality
  • retail

Health and safety legal duties

Under Victoria's health and safety laws, employers must provide and maintain a working environment for their employees that is safe and free of risks to health, so far as is reasonably practicable.

Employees may include contractors and labour hire employees.

Making work safer for young workers

  • Consider your young workers' age and experience as a risk factor when identifying hazards and risks in your workplace.
  • Make sure they get a proper induction, including understanding the health and safety requirements of the workplace.
  • Give them the necessary information, instruction and training to be able to do their work safely.
  • Make sure they are properly supervised.
  • Encourage them to speak up. Listen to and act on their health and safety concerns.
  • Promote a culture of safety.

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