Apprentices, hazards and noise at work
Noise is a major hazard in the Australian construction sector. Claim rates for noise induced hearing loss increased by 50% between 1995 and 2009 in Victoria. As new workers, apprentices may be particularly vulnerable to various hazards in the workplace, including noise.
The purpose of this study was to examine how trade apprentices who work in the construction sector understand their risks at work, with a special focus on noise. The study involved a focus group to examine, from the instructor's perspective, the employment preparation process for new workers, including how health and safety messages are delivered and understood by new workers. It also involved focus groups with apprentices to examine new workers' perspectives on workplace hazards and how these are managed in the workplace. Results from this study have helped us understand how we can best protect apprentices in the construction sector from hazards, including noise, in their workplaces.