Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace today released a new work safety film targeting young workers and their employers in a bid to cut deaths and injuries on construction sites.
The film covers the tragic electrocution of 20 year old Jason Garrels on a construction site in Clermont in Central Queensland in 2012. Jason had been working on the site for just nine days at the time of his death.
“Jason’s story takes a confronting, very honest look into the heartache of losing a son and a mate in a workplace incident,” Ms Grace said.
“Sadly, it also shows that the tragedy could easily have been avoided and how it has impacted on the lives of his family, friends and colleagues.
“Young people need extra supervision and assistance when they start a new job, because they are inexperienced and often don’t feel comfortable speaking up about safety issues.
“We want this film to encourage all workers, including young workers, to speak up if they think something is not right.”
Ms Grace said there were 16,000 workers aged 15-24 in the Queensland construction industry alone.
“Each year on average, about 600 of them will suffer a serious work-related injury,” she said.
“Tragically, some young will lose their life in incidents that could easily have been avoided.
“That’s why it’s so important to provide appropriate levels of supervision and supportive mentoring for young workers in any industry.”
Ms Grace said providing better support to injured workers, or if needs be their surviving family members, was a priority for the Palaszczuk Government.
“We are working to establish a consultative committee to Government with a group of parents and partners of people who have died while doing their job,” she said.
“This is about giving these families the support they need in tragic circumstances.
“But far better that nobody has to go through this heartache in the first place, so we are also working with the construction industry to prevent injuries and fatalities.
“This means targeting site supervisors and managers, as they are best placed to influence the development of positive safety attitudes and behaviours in young workers.
“Senior workers have a vital role to play in improving the effectiveness and quality of inductions, training, supervision, feedback and mentoring.
“In Jason’s case, there were serious shortcomings in these areas.
“That’s why his film urges everyone on a worksite to talk more about safety, tackle safety issues head on, and work together to ensure no more sons or mates lose their lives while just trying to do their jobs.”
Watch Jason’s story…