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Are there age restrictions on heavy lifting?

Q: We have young workers (aged 15 years and over) working with us. Are there any age restrictions in relation to heavy lifting? Our 15-year-old workers could be lifting around 12kg.

A: Safe Work Australia’s model codes of practice have been developed in conjunction with the harmonisation of Australia’s work health and safety legislation. Safe Work Australia have developed the Code of Practice Hazardous Manual Tasks in relation to hazardous manual tasks in the workplace.

This Model Code of Practice was approved in NSW and is hosted on the WorkCover NSW website.

We recommend that you review the Code of Practice in relation to minimising the risk of hazardous manual handling tasks to your workers. The Code of Practice does not reference the age of workers and the respective weight lift limit. Therefore, we recommend that as a guide, you adhere to the restrictions under the National Code of Practice for Manual Handling.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Young workers for current advice.

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