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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3204 ..

October 2021, was timed to coincide with National Safe Work Month as part of WorkSafe’s “work safe, home safe” theme for the month. It is an important strategy for our regulator, and an important area for workplace safety for the Canberra community and all workers.

WorkSafe ACT’s psychosocial strategy will be used by the regulator to guide its activities in relation to psychosocial hazards under the WHS legislation by: increasing awareness on how to identify and manage psychosocial hazards and what true and sustainable compliance looks like; supporting compliance through promoting and developing materials for priority industries, small businesses and protecting at-risk work groups; supporting proactive enforcement and prioritising psychosocial hazard complaints and notifiable incidents; and building our own capacity and capability to effectively play our part in improving worker outcomes. Priority industries of the regulator for its psychosocial hazards work include health and community services, education and training, construction and hospitality.

In relation to silica dust exposure compliance activities, WorkSafe ACT will be continuing their focus on compliance with planned proactive campaigns and by engaging with local industry and trade unions to develop a better understanding of silica dust risk in construction. With work underway nationally and locally to improve the way our regulations deal with the risks of silica dust exposure, I expect that we will be well-positioned heading into 2022 to tackle the issues of silica dust safety at work.

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank ACT’s WorkSafe regulator for their work in keeping our Canberra workers safe and their work to guide the implementation of key safety initiatives in the ACT. Young people deserve safe and secure jobs, and I am extremely proud of this government’s strong and progressive initiatives that protect them. I present the following paper:

WorkSafe ACT activities and initiatives for young workers—Ministerial statement, 10 November 2021.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (10.12): I rise today to commend WorkSafe ACT’s young workers strategy. Every Canberran has the right to safe, secure and decent work. Our community benefits when workplaces are safe and workers’ rights are protected. Young workers make up 39 per cent of the employed population in the ACT. They are an essential part of our workforce, yet they are some of the most vulnerable workers in the territory.

The Young Workers Centre has found that the exploitation of young workers is commonly linked to insecure employment. Most young workers are casually employed and struggle without the guarantee of secure and ongoing work. They deal with unpredictable schedules week to week, relying on rosters often given on short notice. They experience uncertainty around the number of hours that they will be

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