Employers and workers need to take a zero-tolerance approach to workplace initiations and pranks which can lead to serious injury and potentially death WorkSafe Victoria says.
“Extra vigilance is needed at this time of year when large numbers of young and inexperienced workers are joining the workforce,” WorkSafe General Manager, Eric Windholz says.
“All too often, a moment of recklessness results in disaster. There is no room for violence in any workplace.”
“Everyone has a responsibility to ensure their workplace is as safe as practicable,” he says.
Victoria’s workplace health and safety laws require employers to provide and maintain a safe workplace and provide appropriate training and supervision.
Employees have a responsibility to work in a safe way, and not put themselves or others at risk.
“Supervisors have an important role to play in setting and maintaining clear standards of behaviour at work,” Windholz says.
“As we see so often in the media, young people do not have the same insight as adults. They often do not appreciate the consequences of what they are doing.”
Windholz says young workers between 15 and 25 have the highest proportion of work-related injury and a higher rate of hospitalisation than other age groups.
WorkSafe has prosecuted a number of cases where people have endangered themselves and others through dangerous pranks.
Employers, workers or parents needing help can call WorkSafe on 1800 136 089.
Publications on the prevention of occupational violence and bullying are available on the WorkSafe website or by calling the Advisory Service on 1800 136 089.