Children and Safety At Work (QLD)

There is a new code of practice covering children who work at or attend a QLD workplace.

This code of Practice is a result of recent changes to the law in relation to having children (under 18) at a place of work. Not only does it cover actual workers, it also covers children on work experience and more importantly children who may attend a workplace from time to time.

Children who attend a workplace from time to time includes: taking your child to work with you, taking your child into a workplace such as a hospital or shop, having the child work in a family business even if there is no pay and having children in a rural setting such as a farm, market garden, horse facility or similar where work is carried out.

The humble family shed or garage is also included if this area is used by parents or grandparents or other persons working from home.

Taking children for a ride in your company truck and or your tractor if it is normally used for work is also covered by this code. Regardless of why the child is at the workplace the workplace health & safety legislation still applies for their protection from injury, illness or death. 

The main point of consideration in having children at the workplace is their general characteristics which may increase their risk of injury. These characteristics include: Their size and level of physical maturity, general behaviour and maturity, experience and training, their confidence and ability to raise issues, their ability to make judgements about their safety and the safety of others, their ability to cope with unexpected circumstances and situations, other special characteristics of the young.

Special consideration should be given when carrying out risk assessments if children are regularly entering your workplace. It should also be noted that providing a child with a copy of a handbook which requires them to read it on their own will not be sufficient, face to face safety discussions should take place with all young people entering your workplace.

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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