Cheryl Edwardes

Cheryl Edwardes

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    Minister gives Christmas warning to school leavers and employers

    22/12/2000 4:55 PM
     
    22/12/00

    The heightened festive mood for school leavers celebrating their milestone of newfound independence can be a deadly combination if it is not tempered with care, Labour Relations Minister Cheryl Edwardes warns.

    “There is extra cause for school leavers to be letting their hair down at this time of the year because finishing school is such an exciting achievement,” Mrs Edwardes says.

    “For many of them, this is a major turning point when they leave their childhood behind and enter the workforce for the first time. We’re not here to dampen their spirits or enthusiasm, but we do want them to join us next year in one piece.

    “Our special Christmas message to them is to enjoy yourselves by all means, but please don’t forget to use caution in what you do and how you behave to stay safe and healthy.”

    Mrs Edwardes said employers also needed to be aware of the special duty of care needed for children and young people at workplaces.

    “Many parents take their children in to work with them over the Christmas holiday break, and there are lots of young first-time workers who are inexperienced about the workplace,” she said.

    “Work safety and health laws put the primary responsibility for the safety of children and young workers on employers, but workers also have a duty to work safely so that children and young people in their area are not harmed in any way.”

    The WorkSafe Western Australia Commission Code of Practice on The Safety and Health of Children and Young People in Workplaces is based on the understanding that there are special risk factors to consider when managing the safety of children and young people.

    It gives practical information on the responsibilities of the employer and the rights of young workers. It is also relevant to parents of children or young people who might be at the workplace for any reason including work experience, visiting or unpaid work (ie. as part of a family business, shop or farm).

    For information on the Code of Practice Young People and Children in the Workplace, refer to the WorkSafe WA website http://www.safetyline.wa.gov.au.

    Media contact: Steve Manchee on 9421 7777