Young workers have unique health and safety needs.

Young workers have unique health and safety needs.

WorkCover Queensland has announced a special forum to be held later this month, designed to encourage greater discussion regarding the workplace health and safety of younger Australians.

The forum – entitled Young workers: Unique risks, unique opportunities – will be hosted by the Queensland government’s Zero Harm at Work Leadership Program.

The Zero Harm at Work Leadership Program is an initiative designed to reduce the frequency and severity of health and safety incidents in Queensland workplaces by encouraging positive cultures.

According to a Safe Work Australia report published earlier this year, one fifth of all workplace injuries reported by Australian workers during 2009-2010 were incurred by employees aged 25 and under.

Safe Work Australia estimated that younger workers had an injury rate of 66.1 incidents per 1000 employees during that period, compared to a rate of 56.2 per 1000 for workers aged over 25.

This is why events like the Young workers: Unique risks, unique opportunities forum are so important, providing education and generating discussion about the safety of younger employees.

A number of high-profile speakers are lined up for the event, including Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Organisational Psychologist and Manager of the Psychosocial and Cognitive Ergonomics Unit Kirsten Way.

Ms Way is scheduled to host a keynote address on why young workers are important to the Australian workforce, as well as the unique health and safety risks that apply to this demographic. She will also offer insight into how Australian employers can act to ensure the health and safety of their younger workers.

The event will take place at the Brisbane Technology Park Central Auditorium on Monday 28 October. More details are available on the Zero Harm at Work Leadership Program website.

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