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WorkCover Queensland made an insightful report on the higher percentages of accident claims coming from young workers under 30, which amounts to 45% of all compensation claims in Queensland.

The explanation of these phenomena is that young workers have less experience than mature staff and may not completely understand workplace risks. A lack of understanding in workplace risks may often lead to a young worker being unaware of those risks until those risks present themselves when it is too late.

This is especially true in the food services industry. Lacerations, burns and other kinds of wounds make up 30% of injuries and are also relatively common occurrences that can arise in almost any work environment. Musculoskeletal injuries (such as sprains, repetitive strain injuries, etc.) make up around 48% of all claims.

WorkCover Queensland makes an effective list of suggestions for employers to consider when training their staff:

–          Thorough workplace health and safety induction

–          Refresher training on a regular basis

–          A “tell me, show me, watch me” approach to train new staff on different tasks

–          A supportive culture that encourages questions from new staff.

–          Consideration of each worker’s individual abilities when assigning tasks.

To view the WorkCover article, you can find it here.

It is the employer’s responsibility to create a safe work environment for their employees. This includes making sure that staff are adequately trained, that equipment and safety precautions are being used and maintained properly, and that the work environment is free from negative hostility such as bullying, harassment or violence.

If an employer fails to do this, not only do they expose their employees to injury and the necessity of a WorkCover claim, but they also open themselves up as liable for a damages claim if their actions are negligent.

Some employees may be intimidated by their employer and workplace in a sense that if they disclose an injury or otherwise show that they may be trying to exercise their legal rights, the result could be a negative change to how they are treated at the workplace or they may even be laid off.

It is important that a worker who has been injured in an accident seek their own independent legal advice to be properly informed of their rights. An accredited specialist in personal injury is especially useful if a worker is anxious about their ability to work or provide for their family.