SEASONAL WORK - 04.06.2024

Protect seasonal and temporary workers

The summer months are often a time to expand your workforce to keep up with seasonal variations in workload. What should you do to keep inexperienced workers safe in the course of their employment?

New to the job. Workers are as likely to have an accident in their first six months at work as during the whole of the rest of their working life. This increased risk is because of lack of experience of working in a new industry or workplace, being unfamiliar with the job and the environment, not wanting or knowing how to raise concerns and eagerness to impress workmates and managers. The majority of gig, agency and temporary work is in agriculture, construction, transport, hospitality and cleaning.

Steps to protect new starters. There are some steps you can take to reduce the risk to gig economy, agency and temporary workers including: (1) assess their capability, e.g. literacy and numeracy levels, general health, cultural issues and relevant work experience; (2) provide an induction. Take time to walk around the workplace with new workers and show them where the main hazards are, e.g. falls and slips; (3) make sure control measures are up to date and are being properly used and maintained; (4) provide relevant information, instruction and training about the risks new workers may be exposed to and the precautions they will need to take to avoid them; (5) provide adequate supervision and make sure workers know how to raise concerns; and (6) check workers have understood the information, instruction and training they need to work safely, and are acting on it. Tip. Make sure workers know who to speak to, how to raise concerns about their health and safety and about any emergency arrangements or procedures.

Tip. Young people and migrant workers may be particularly vulnerable in your workplace. Use our Young Persons Checklist to assist you in meeting your obligations, e.g. additional training and supervision (see The next step ). You can adapt this when employing migrant workers.

For our Young Persons Checklist, visit , Download Zone, year 22 issue 19.

New workers can be particularly vulnerable as they may not recognise hazards or know your processes. Keep them safe by assessing their capabilities, providing high levels of induction training and supervising in the first few weeks in particular.

The next step

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