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Teenage Workers Don’t Need to Die

Teenage Workers Don’t Need to Die

“The pitiful fine of $15,000 awarded against a rubbish collection firm for failing to ensure the safety of a teenage worker highlights the need for tougher workplace health and safety law,’ said Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson today.

“We urgently need a law which ensures young workers like 16-year old Brady Williams are properly trained and supervised," he said.

Brady Williams was crushed to death when he fell into the compactor of a rubbish truck while collecting recycling bins for rubbish collection company Street Smart.

Ross Wilson said new H&S law was focused on ensuring safe systems of work. “A safe system of work means no young worker undertakes work without adequate training and proper supervision,” he said.

“Earlier this year a group of mothers of young workers told a parliamentary select committee that we need tougher workplace health and safety laws to ensure the safety of young workers of the future.”

Ross Wilson said increased fines were needed when employers failed to provide safe systems of work.

“We hear plenty from politicians and employers representatives who trivialise workplace deaths and complain about so-called massive fines,” he said.

“The reality is that fines are pitifully small and it is only for those employers who fail to take reasonable steps to provide a safe workplace.”

Ross Wilson said Brady Williams' death was not an ‘accident’.

“OSH have pointed out safety mechanisms that could have been installed, and that an emergency safety trip bar was not functioning, and the controls on the truck and the manual were written in Japanese," he said.

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