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Employers have been reminded to take steps to keep children away from hazardous workplaces during the coming school holidays.
WorkSafe WA Commissioner Darren Kavanagh said today many workplaces contained hazards that could result in injury, and some even contained potentially deadly hazards.
“Workplaces such as factories and construction sites are not suitable locations for children and, sadly, many children have been seriously injured or killed in workplaces such as these over the years,” Mr Kavanagh said.
“Children and young people often end up in workplaces during school holidays – whether it be through necessity or as a “treat” – but employers need to give careful consideration to where children are permitted to go in workplaces.
“There are also situations where the child’s home doubles as a workplace, and care must be taken to be aware of children on holidays being in work areas where they do not normally go because they’re at school.
“Many children do not have the maturity or experience to understand hazards and their potential consequences, and some workplaces can present hazards of which even adults may not be aware,” the Commissioner said.
“Trips and falls can have very serious consequences for children if they happen around machinery or vehicles on farms or construction sites or in factories.
“Farms are often simultaneously homes and workplaces, and include multiple hazards from fixed and mobile machinery to chemicals and other hazardous substances.
“Construction sites can also present a number of hazards, from trip hazards and the risk of injury from building rubble to the risk of falls from height, and employers should consider fencing construction sites to reduce these risks.
“Even parents may not recognise the potential hazards facing children – so wherever possible they also need to consider avoiding taking children to work with them during the school holidays unless there are appropriate facilities for them.”
Further information on children and young people in workplaces can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877 or on the website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au.
Media Contact: Caroline De Vaney 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only).
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