It would be absolutely terrible for everyone involved if a child should get hurt on your watch. Any responsible company should always take precautions to ensure the safety of those with whom they are working. However, needless to say the issue is rather more emotive when children are concerned. Nobody wants to be responsible - however tangentially - for a child’s injury. Furthermore, the potential for PR disaster and legal action resulting from a lack of safety is enormous when children are involved. So do your risk assessments thoroughly . Make sure that every possible safety precaution has been taken, and that you are covered to the hilt  for any potential problem. If you are effectively responsible for the welfare of a child, and they get hurt on your watch, then the fallout for you (both emotional and legal) could be tremendous. You really cannot be too careful when ensuring the safety of children with whom you’re working.
WORKING WITH CHILDREN CHECKS
Anyone who is going to be working with children needs to undergo a ‘Working With Children Check’ . Put simply, this is a background check carried out by the authorities to see if there is anything in a person’s past which may indicate that they are not suitable for working with children. Anyone who applies for a working with children check will have the following aspects of their lives looked into: 1. Criminal record. Not all offences will lead to a ban on working with children, but many will . 2. Ombudsman findings of misconduct. If the person in question has had an ombudsman judgement against them in their professional capacity (particularly where working with children is concerned), they may well fail their working with children check. 3. Ongoing capability. Those who pass their working with children check will be subject to ongoing monitoring to ensure their suitability for the responsibility. Those who fail their working with children check can in most territories seek a review of this by tribunal , which will either support or overturn the initial assessment.
PICK THE RIGHT PEOPLE
While a working with children check will highlight an past misdemeanours which may indicate unsuitability for working with children, it can only go so far. You also need to think very carefully about the people you pick for the job. Some people are more responsible than others, some are more likely to pay attention to safety details, some are more empathetic (a boon when working with children), and some are just generally better suited for child-based work . It is absolutely imperative that you do choose capable, responsible, patient, and safe individuals for jobs involving children.
DON'T EXPLOIT CHILDREN!
This should go without saying, but unfair child labour is a bad thing. The Australian government takes a very dim view of it. There is a strict framework in place to ensure that any young people you employ are treated fairly and not exploited. These regulations vary from industry to industry, but in general the minimum age for child employment is around 13, and anyone under the age of majority must be employed under certain stringent conditions . For example, it is illegal to employ children during antisocial hours, must get breaks of a minimum of 30 minutes for every three hours worked, and must not be employed during school hours on school days. Should you be employing children, Child Employment Officers will check to see that you are keeping to the child employment regulations, and penalties for not doing so can be very strict indeed. For the safety of both children and your own business, be a good employer!
Post written by Anne Farthing (April 2016)
 Working With Children Check, “Working With Children Act”
 Harriet Stacey, “Basic Risk Assessment for Employees Working with Children”, Wise Workplace, Sept 2014
 Q, "Corporate Healthcare"
 New South Wales Government, “Working With Children Check”
 Office of the Children’s Guardian, Government of New South Wales, “Fact Sheet 13: Disqualifying offences (Schedule 2)”, May 2015
 Government of New South Wales, Civil And Administrative Tribunal
 Kinga Harskuti, “Want to Work With Children: 5 Skills and Qualities You Should Be Working On”, Social Work Helper, Jan 2014
 Victorian State Government, “Child employment laws and requirements”