Australia is a land of extremes and few incidents proved this like Sydney's recent shift from blistering temperatures to dangerous storms is an example of this. While the two weather events sit at different ends of the spectrum, they were both as equally dangerous to people working outdoors.
However, while the shifting weather conditions provided extra danger for a range of different jobs, they weren't the only events to increase the risk of TPD claims in the state's businesses. For many jobs that focus on working with dangerous materials or heavy machinery, years of experience and the correct qualifications can be the difference between a worker who's safe and one that is more susceptible to mistakes.
How does experience affect workplace safety?
The new year poses a number of different dangers for people at work. As workers return from their extended breaks, it can be difficult to focus and integrate quickly back into the workforce. If people are struggling in this area, it can make these environments less safe.
On top of this, SafeWork NSW revealed there is also a high number of recent graduates and new apprentices working on site for the first time. As these workers are notably less experienced than their older peers, and don't always have the same level of qualification, they need to be supervised.
SafeWork NSW reported that younger workers can be more accident prone in the workplace, raising the risk TPD claims occurring. According to the organisation, those under the age of 25 account for 16 per cent of all workplace accidents across NSW.
Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy believes this because these workers often approach the role eager to impress their superiors and make a positive first impression.
"The return to work period at the end of the school holidays requires extra caution on the part of businesses and workers," he explained. "There are many young workers entering the workforce for the first time who will be keen to impress."
"This can lead to them taking risks that more experienced workers would not and increases the chance of a workplace injury."
At the other end of the scale, SafeWork NSW noted that older workers can also pose unique dangers in their workplace. Due to their experience, it's easy for them to become complacent, and cut corners where they think it may be safe to.
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