Cafes and restaurants in Fitzroy, Collingwood and St Kilda are encouraged to get ready for a targeted workplace inspection campaign. The visits back-up WorkSafe Victoria ’s recent advertising campaign focusing on young workers.
The inspection campaign is being run nationally and intended to help employers to provide safer workplaces and understand their obligations to new and young workers who are a major part of the hospitality sector.
The inspection campaign is also designed to increase the awareness of new workers and those under 25 about their workplace health and safety rights and responsibilities.
Inspectors will be checking that new and young workers are:
- Provided with a working environment in which they are not exposed to hazards
- Provided with the necessary information, instruction and training to complete their work safely
- Adequately supervised
- Consulted and communicated with about workplace health and safety issues
Inspectors will also check for safety hazards including electrical safety, chemical use and storage, plant and equipment guarding, manual handling issues, slips trips or falls and workplace violence.
Nationally consistent guidance material has been developed to provide practical information and advice on a range of workplace health and safety issues for both new and young workers and their employers.
According to WorkSafe Victoria, failing to address health and safety issues had human and commercial consequences, including the potential for prosecution.
WorkSafe inspectors do not impose fines, but if safety problems are found they will in most cases issue an improvement notice. If there is an immediate risk to safety, a prohibition notice will be issued.
Safety issues in this sector can be dealt with little cost, however assessing potential hazards and doing something about them, is essential before inspectors arrive.
WorkSafe Victoria note that young hospitality workers are vulnerable and at a higher risk of injury for many reasons including inadequate induction and training, insufficient OHS representation, a reluctance to speak up or ask questions.
Young workers have the highest proportion of work-related injury, are twice as likely to end up in emergency departments and are more likely to suffer traumatic injuries.
The most common type of work-related injury for both new and young workers in hospitality are muscle strains, open wounds, burns and psychological injuries arising from workplace bullying and violence.
Businesses wanting to improve health and safety in their workplaces can also receive free assistance from an independent OHS consultant through WorkSafe’s small business consultancy service.