Be wary of dangers when taking children to fencing and gate worksites

SafeWork NSW is sending a strong reminder regarding the dangers of taking children to construction sites after a teenage boy was seriously injured while attending a worksite in December.

On 22 December, a 13-year-old boy attended a construction site with an adult. The boy subsequently fell from scaffolding and sustained a serious head injury which required surgery.

While many parents across the state are back at work in the new year and may have to take their children to work with them, they must ensure children are only taken to suitable workplaces and their movements are always monitored.

People in high-risk workplaces like construction need to be trained and competent, and if SafeWork inspectors find untrained, unlicensed and incompetent people on site, which can include children, this could result in the issue of fines or other notices.

If parents are planning for their child to take part in work on a construction site, they are reminded to ensure their child has a white card, is properly supervised and has been provided with adequate training. The minimum age to apply for a white card is 14.

Head of SafeWork NSW Trent Curtin said, “For a child, workplaces are exciting places, but they can also be extremely dangerous. We are reminding businesses and parents they have obligations to supervise children, especially around machinery, hazardous chemicals and other risks on site that may not be obvious.

“There needs to be protections in place to look after not just kids on school holidays, but all visitors to the workplace, each day of the year.

“Simple safety prevention, like locking away chemicals and tools, putting in place falls protection, or removing the keys from machinery and vehicles when they are not in use are just a few ways to create a safer place for everyone.”