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A Young Worker’s Perspective on Workplace Safety

As it was World Safety Day on the weekend, with the 2018 focus on young worker safety, we asked our content writer and young uni student Ben about his experiences to date, his knowledge of safety, his safety mindset since joining our team and what he believes are important factors for young workers when it comes to safety.

Hi there! I’m Ben, and I form half of the Marketing team at WorkPro. When I’m not at WorkPro, I love supporting the Bombers (for better or worse), writing about, and listening to, music, playing video games and going to karate (I’m a black belt). I’m also at RMIT University studying Journalism. Since starting at WorkPro, it’s become super clear to me how important safety in the workplace is. I’ve come from a retail background, where safety can sometimes feel like an afterthought.

I’ve had a couple of different experiences when it comes to onboarding. The first retail job I worked held a boot camp for their new hires. Whilst this seems like a fun idea in theory, in reality it just meant that people were yawning by the end of it. Meanwhile, my second retail job had online modules which were engaging and interactive. This second job did focus on safety during induction and during my role, and whilst I didn’t appreciate that at the time, since joining WorkPro and reading up on where/how and the impact of poor work safety practices, I’m just happy I came away unscathed! The focus on safety meant that the second job was a much more enjoyable place to work. I was sad to leave them (though, I’m super happy I ended up where I am now).

There were so many times that I was scaling ladders, barely reaching (because I’m short) to the highest shelves in the stockroom, and then trying to avoid all the boxes that were strewn across the floor. This doesn’t sound like the safest of environments, right? Unfortunately, this was the norm me and my experience, rather than the exception. Whilst I was lucky to avoid injury at work, 10,500 serious injury claims are made each year by retail workers. Claims include injuries to tendons, ligaments and muscles.

When it comes to safety, it can’t be stressed how important it is. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s important when it comes to dollar amounts, but from experience, I can tell you that the brands that care about safety will pay attention to other aspects of their service, including customers and staff Ever been in a shop and been wary of how unhappy the employees look? That’s what can happen when they’re overworked and underprepared for the challenges that lay ahead of them. Retail can be a fun environment to work in, but only when people are prepared. After all, if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. When it comes to safety, don’t take any shortcuts, because it’ll come back to bite you.

With the focus of World Safety day being young people, we welcome you to consider young workers in your workplace and perhaps their unique safety induction, training and support requirements. For more information, take a moment to read our Young Worker e-book and find out how you can better take care of your workforce.

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