Lack of medical tests when working for the dole a safety risk

QUESTIONS ASKED: Steven Setters has concerns about the safety of Work for the Dole participants.
QUESTIONS ASKED: Steven Setters has concerns about the safety of Work for the Dole participants. Matt Taylor GLA130118JOBS

GLADSTONE man of 15 years, Steven Setters says there are people working for the dole who may be medically unfit to do so.

Mr Setters, a mechanical fitter by trade, has previously worked for the dole and has been looking for work for a few years.

He says he can't understand why clients are not asked to pass a medical before engaging in Work for the Dole projects.

"I'm a fitter, and every job I've ever gone for, I've had to get a medical," he said.

"I have worked with some people in Work for the Dole that I don't think should be working.

"One had a bad mental state, and the other one, he had a bad back, he shouldn't have been doing what he was doing. If he was sent for a medical, they'd probably fail him."

Mr Setters said these situations posed a safety risk both to the individual involved and to the people working with them.

He said drugs were also an issue.

"If you fail your medical test due to drugs, of any nature, your dole should be suspended and that would keep a lot more people honest," he said.

Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said drug testing for the dole was currently being trialled.

"We will look to see the results when available but I support any program that sees funding go towards family essentials like food and clothing not drugs," he said.

However, he opposed mandatory medicals for work for the dole participants.

"Fitness to work is the responsibility of the individual and any potential employer that requires medical clearance for work," he said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Jobs and Small Business said it was the responsibility of the Jobactive provider to assess Work for the Dole participants and determine their suitability.

Topics:  jobactive providers work for the dole workplace health and safety

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