Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (29 November) . . Page.. 5102 ..
WorkSafe ACT will be providing reminders to workers and employers about the importance of managing the effects of heat on workers, particularly for those working outside or in hot environments, such as in the hospitality industry.
WorkSafe will be working with employers to ensure that work sites are left safe and secure over any shutdown periods and that sites are checked for safety before work resumes after a break.
MR PETTERSSON: Minister, is WorkSafe ACT undertaking any activity to take into account the increased retail activity over the holiday season?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Pettersson for his supplementary. In 2017, a survey undertaken by the SDA found that 90 per cent of ACT fast food and retail workers surveyed reported being verbally abused by a customer in the previous 12 months. This was higher than the national average. Further, more than one in five workers reported being physically abused. Madam Speaker, this is simply unacceptable. There is no excuse for someone to experience physical or verbal abuse for simply doing their job.
This holiday season, the ACT government is partnering with the SDA to get the message out to our community that no-one deserves a serve. Access Canberra will be providing information to workers that such behaviour is not acceptable and will provide information on where workers can find support if they experience such behaviour.
We also acknowledge that Canberra's workforce is diverse. This is why we will be providing information in simplified Chinese, Hindi and Vietnamese, three of the most common languages other than English spoken by workers in the retail and fast food sectors in the ACT. This will support the accessibility of this information to workers across these sectors.
Importantly, Access Canberra will be providing industry with material they can display to remind people to check their behaviour before they get to the check-out or engage with workers in such industries. While the focus for this campaign is retail and fast food industries, the message extends to all industries. We know that Christmas can be a stressful time but this is no excuse for verbally, let alone physically, abusing a worker in the service sector. All workers deserve to be treated with respect, be it around their safety, their rights, secure work or the behaviours they experience from customers every day.
MS CHEYNE: Minister, with the holiday and barbecue season almost upon us—or, for some of us, upon us—could you please outline WorkSafe ACT's activities in relation to gas safety?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Cheyne for her interest in gas safety, which is an important issue as people spend more time outside with their barbecues. Every worker has the right to go home safely each day, and every family should safely enjoy their holiday. Unfortunately, this year we have already seen one tragic fatality and a