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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3203 ..


school, interning through a university, on work placements, doing apprenticeships and in their first jobs.

Cementing this focus on young workers, WorkSafe have released their young workers strategy. Running through until 2023, the young workers strategy will focus not only on young workers but on employers who have work health and safety obligations towards their youngest employees, as well as community stakeholders that support employees and employers to build their capability in working in a healthy and safe way.

The strategy has been informed by strong evidence—workers compensation data, investigations, information and feedback from stakeholders, including young workers, employer representatives, unions and advocates. It has been a collaborative effort between WorkSafe ACT and groups such as CIT apprentices, the ACT Young Workers Centre and the ACT government Youth Advisory Council.

Over two years the strategy aims to increase awareness and compliance amongst young workers with their work health and safety obligations and workers compensation entitlements. Within WorkSafe ACT there will be increased capability and capacity to be a responsive regulator for young workers’ health, safety and wellbeing.

We know that knowledge, trust and confidence are central to young workers identifying and reporting health and safety risks and reporting incidents of illness and injury. Activities conducted in partnership with community stakeholders and employee advocates will provide information and support to young workers to address this critical issue. The focus will be broad and capture areas, such as work-related discrimination, that affect young workers’ wellbeing and put them at risk of psychological harm and injury. The strategy prioritises those industries where there is a high representation of young workers and increased risks, such as accommodation and food services, retail, residential construction, and health care and social assistance.

We all benefit from the unique contribution young workers make to our community. Healthy and safe work promotes wellbeing and is good for young workers, good for business and good for the community. I thank all those who have been involved in developing the young workers strategy through the consultation and engagement activities. I look forward to this collaboration continuing as we work together with young workers and their employers to make work a healthy and safe place for them to be and thrive.

The ACT’s work safety regulator has been busy over the past few months. Other activities that I would like to draw to the attention of members include: the launch of WorkSafe ACT’s psychosocial hazards strategy on 6 October 2021; the planned activities to ensure compliance with obligations on businesses in relation to exposure to silica dust at work; and the continued compliance activities in relation to COVID-19 for commercial construction sites.

The psychosocial hazards strategy launched by WorkSafe ACT is a particularly important one for improving safety outcomes. The strategy, which launched in


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