A new nation-first toolkit to improve workplace safety for labour-hire workers has been launched as part of SafeWork month, with the theme “Protecting Workers at Risk”.
The toolkit includes worker guides and self-assessment checklist tools for businesses, and SafeWork NSW Director of Compliance and Dispute Resolution, Tony Williams, explained that the kit will assist in reducing the rates of injuries and incidents by providing businesses with a baseline of WHS expectations, specifically as they regard to the use of labour-hire workers.
“Workers in labour-hire are estimated to represent more than three per cent of the NSW workforce, and while it is critical business have the opportunity for flexibility, it is imperative all precautions are taken on safety,” Mr Williams said.
“Labour hire workers can find themselves working in different businesses where known hazards are variable. They are also are likely to be more reluctant to speak out due to fear of not securing further work.
“These workers are typically found in construction, agriculture, manufacturing and health and aged care, and we have translated this kit into four languages, ensuring workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have access to the information.
“The kit is made up of a number of resources, including a self-assessment checklist for labour-hire businesses, a checklist to ensure the suitability of the host business, and an induction checklist for aged-care agency workers.”
SafeWork NSW is undertaking several programs throughout the month, including Mentally Healthy Workplace Ambassador forums, inspectors in regional NSW and a focus on the suppliers of agriculture equipment and machinery.
“SafeWork NSW is not an organisation that only appear at your workplace after an incident. Our inspectors undertake around 34,000 workplace visits to NSW businesses every year to help improve workplace safety,” Mr Williams said.
“When we undertake a site visit this month, we are focusing on improving safety around forklifts as well as falls risks and COVID compliance. While dangerous practices will be specifically addressed, the conversation is largely around safer ways of working.”