Safety - East Coast Apprenticeships

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THINK SAFE            WORK SAFE            HOME SAFE 


ECA Health and Safety Policy: The health and safety of all people (employees, apprentices / trainees, hosts and the general public) is of prime importance to East Coast Apprenticeships. East Coast Apprenticeships recognises their role and responisibilties as having a primary duty of care to provide a safe and healthy place of work. To view a copy of ECA'S Health and Safety Policy Click Here

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Apprentices / Trainees

Welcome to the workplace. East Coast Apprenticeships understands that as a new worker you are probably full of nerves and excitement, with an eagerness to impress your new Field Officer, Hosts and workmates.

This health and safety page aims to provide you with some helpful tools and guidance to get you through your apprenticehip safely. 

Your First Day

Hazard Identification


Personal Protective Equipement (PPE)

Workplace Health and Safety - Laws

Workplace Health and Safety - Communication

If Things Go Wrong

Injured at Work?

Injury Prevention

Dealing with Hidden Danger

ECA Online and Branch Inductions

Most new workers walk in to their job with little to no experience on tools, equipment, chemicals, Personal Protective Equipement (PPE) and also the rules and legislation. At East Coast Apprenticeships you must complete our Online Inductions - these will help to introduce you to working in a trade.

When you attend the Branch to sign-up into an apprenticeship / traineeship, you will be issued with an ECA Survival Guide. USE THIS BOOKLET, read it and make sure you understand your role as well as what is expected of your host employer and ECA.

Your First Day

Your first day can be daunting. Get prepared the night before and remember - being an apprentice / trainee means you are learning the ways of a trade, so listen carefully and ask questions when something doesn't make sense.

Some tips to be prepared for your first day:

Find out: 
  • What are my work hours?
  • Who do I call when I can't come to work?
  • What clothing and footwear requirements are there?
  • What lunch facilities are available (fridge, esky, microwave)?
  • Organise your work gear and PPE the night before and get plenty of sleep ready for the day.
  • Ask questions, listen carefully and be respectful!

The first thing that should happen on the worksite is a WORKPLACE SAFETY INDUCTION. Your new host or supervisor MUST COMPLETE AN INDUCTION WITH NEW WORKERS and go through:

  • Reporting incidents
  • Location of first aid kits, amenities, emergency evacuation
  • Hazards
  • Rules
  • PPE requirements
  • Location of Procedures and Documentation (including high risk procedures known as SWMS and Safe Work Procedures for equipment, tasks and tools).

Remember - to be a respected tradesperson you will:

  • come to work on time everyday
  • be well prepared with all of your PPE in good condition
  • have your construction induction card in case anyone asks you for it (like an inspector)
  • not do anything you are unsure of

Hazard Identification

Hazards have the potential to cause harm, illness or damage. Hazards can include tools that are not maintained or in poor working form, an uncovered hole in the ground, powerlines near scaffolding, an ill worker, etc.

To help manage the risk of hazards to you and those around you, keep the S.A.M steps in mind and remember to COMMUNICATE FREQUENTLY:

(S)POT THE HAZARD - With your eyes open look up, down and side to side and answer the questions: what is in your work area? What is nearby? What could cause harm?

(A)SSESS THE RISK - If there is something hazardous: What is the chance this will cause harm? How much harm could it cause? If the hazard could cause serious harm and was likely to happen then this hazard needs to be fixed ASAP!

(M)AKE THE CHANGE - Talk with your supervisor about the issue and what your concerns are. Discuss what can be done to fix the situation and MAKE IT SAFE for you and others to work in. If you are still concerned after talking with your supervisor, talk with your Field Officer.


As an apprentice or trainee, you are learning what it means to be a tradesperson. Key things to keep in mind are:

  • Pay attention during training
  • Ask questions if you are unsure
  • Ask for feedback when you first complete the task yourself
  • Write down any details you may need to remember later, like specific measurements

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the last line of defence between yourself and a hazard. If you are instructed to wear PPE ensure that it is in good working order. Your body may be depending on it!


If it is required you must wear it.


Adjust your PPE to fit properly or request another size.

Check for damage, wear and tear, cracks, stress and strain on your PPE DAILY. Store your PPE out of direct sunlight and heat.

Workplace Health and Safety - Laws

As a worker you have legal responsibilities to workplace health and safety. Worker responsibilities are:

  • Take reasonable care of your own health and safety
  • Take reasonable care that what you do does not adversely affect the health and safety of others
  • Comply, so far as they are reasonably able with instructions
  • Cooperate with reasonable health and safety policies or procedures

Your employer also has health and safety responsibilities that include:

  • Provide and maintain a safe working environment
  • Provide and maintain safe plant and structures
  • Provide and maintain safe systems of work
  • Ensure the safe use, handling, storage and transport of plant, structures and substances
  • Provide adequate facilities for workers
  • Provide any information, training, instruction or supervision that is necessary
  • Monitored health of workers for the purpose of preventing illness of injury.


What do you do if you are asked to perform unsafe work? Tell your supervisor why you believe the work is unsafe. If you believe it is still unsafe after talking with your supervisor, talk to your Field Officer immediately.

Workplace Health and Safety - Communication

When it comes to workplace safety, communication is key. There are a number of people you should talk with if you have health and safety concerns:

  • Your supervisor or host
  • Any health and safety representative on site or committees
  • Your East Coast Apprenticeships Field Officer
  • Other workers

If you are worried, SPEAK UP, because your proactive report could prevent an accident.

Safety communication isn't just during your induction, but should be ongoing throughout your entire working career. Safety communication comes in many forms, including:

  • Toolbox talks
  • Meetings
  • Notices / Newsletters
  • Equipment training sessions
  • Safety reports
  • And more!

If Things Go Wrong

In construction you may experience machinery breakdowns, malfunctioning equipment, poor quality materials and incidents causing injuries. The first thing you should do is tell your supervisor immediately, particularly if you have never experienced this situation before. Your supervisor is trained in handling those situations, inlcuding if they need to tell others.

The second person you need to contact is your Field Officer. Keeping your Field Officer up to date on the issues or concerns in your workplace means that East Coast Apprenticehsips can ensure your safety in that workplace. They are also responsible in organising any investigations or completing reports if the situation is serious.

Injured at Work?

If you are injured at work, report it! Tell your supervisor and your Field Officer.

If there is a hazard in the workplace that caused you harm it needs to be assessed and fixed or else it could hurt you again or someone else.

Once you have reported the injury to your Field Officer they will complete an incident report with you and your host employer. This process is important in gathering the facts to help prevent this kind of incident ocurring again.

If you see a doctor or go to the hospital ask for a Worker's Compsenation Medical Certificate (WCMC).


As a Queensland worker you have the right to claim Workcover benefits if you are injured at work. To begin the process a Worker's Compensation Medical Certificate (WCMC) and a Workcover claim form are required.

To assist you in this process contact the East Coast Apprenticeships Workcover Coordinator, on (07) 3881 3166.


Workplace rehabilitation

East Coast Apprenticeships believes in the benefits of returning to work as soon as possible after an incident and will support workers by providing suitable duties. If suitable duties are not available at your current host, East Coast Apprenticeships will discuss the other options with you including completing Tafe / College modules or temporarily working with another host employer.

When your doctor asks if there are suitable (light) duties available to you, the answer is YES!

Injury Prevention

Prevention works better than a cure. This statement is true in safety. Take a closer look at your Injury Hotspots and learn about prevention methods:



Dealing with Hidden Danger

Hidden hazards can directly affect a worker's mental or physical health and lead to illnesses or diseases. East Coast Apprenticeships have Contact Officers who will listen and offer guidamce for what your concerns are. They will direct you to any procedures or legislation that may be relevant. To speak with an ECA Contact Officer, call (07) 3881 3166 and ask for John, Brian or Tammy.

Have you ever been a bystander to harassment or bullying and not known what to do? View a video for those situations.

Organisations such as Mates In Construction and Beyond Blue can also be helpful. Below are a list of links to websites who offer support: