New push for young workers to get involved with their own health and safety
Published on 29 Jan, 2013Media Contact: Assoc Prof Verna Blewett via or 0402 990 066
For Immediate Release
There's a new push to help young people get involved with their own safety in the workplace through a 'cultural shift' in approaches to the issue.
This is in response to previous research indicating those aged 12-25 are at higher risk of injury yet have little knowledge of workers' rights.
SafeWork SA Senior Project Officer (Safe Communities) Meegan Brotherton (white shirt) with L-R Dr Sophia Rainbird, Assoc Prof Verna Blewett and Dr Jessica Paterson
Click here to View/Download full-sized Image An innovative new project will incorporate social media, integrate with the education system and employers and, most importantly, empower young workers to be resilient rather than vulnerable.
Funding from SafeWork SA will enable an education and advocacy strategy drawing on collaboration with young workers and key organisations including business, unions, educational institutions and SWSA inspectors.
South Australia¹s Youth Work Health and Safety Strategy project will be led by CQUniversity researchers Associate Professor Verna Blewett, Dr Jessica Paterson and Dr Sophia Rainbird.
"Drawing on world's best practice through collaboration with international researchers, this innovative strategy will lead to a cultural shift in the way that youth Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) is approached," Assoc Prof Blewett says.
"The project will enable young people to drive the agenda through self-advocacy.
"Real case studies will provide 'me-too¹ stories which are known to have a powerful influence as a means of engaging emotions and providing examples for action.
""They should be able to experience safer workplaces right from the beginning of their working lives."
Assoc Prof Blewett says the strategy will incorporate 'safe reporting and advocacy points' and involvement of the education sector to deal with the problem of under-reporting of youth WHS issues.
Other project innovations will include development of problem-solving skills in young people and the linkage of WHS training to topics that young people are interested in.
"Our collaborative approach will ensure key stakeholders - including young workers themselves - are invested in the strategic action plan and therefore increase the likelihood of its successful implementation," Assoc Prof Blewett says.
The CQUniversity research team is based at CQUniversity's Appleton Institute in Adelaide.