The state government says union claims of understaffing at Ashley Youth Detention Centre are incorrect.
Earlier this week, the Health and Community Services Union said it estimated there was a current gap of eight full-time equivalent staff needed to meet minimum staffing requirements.
However, Human Services Minister Roger Jaensch said the centre was currently staffed for up to 24 detainees, with resident numbers currently sitting below 20.
"The recruitment process that is now occurring is to ensure a casual pool of workers is available to cover sick or annual leave, or to cover a rise in new detainees," Mr Jaensch said.
"The welfare of these vulnerable young people is of paramount importance to the government."
HACSU assistant secretary Robbie Moore said the centre was in chaos, with a report from the centre on Thursday indicating the facility was understaffed.
"The fact the government has acknowledged they are not filling full-time positions shows they are deliberately understaffing the centre," Mr Moore said.
A Provision Improvement Notice issued by the site's health and safety representatives in response to their concern the workplace had become unsafe will be reviewed by WorkSafe starting next week.
A health a safety representative said on Thursday the number of major incidents at the facility had increased recently due to lack of staff.
The representative said staff were run-down, overtired and were being asked to do unreasonable overtime of up to 20 hours per week.
Mr Jaensch said the Department of Communities was working constructively with staff to resolve their concerns.
"All major incidents are already thoroughly investigated to ensure all protocols are followed and to reduce the likelihood of incidents occurring in the future," Mr Jaensch said.
Former McIntyre Independent MLC Greg Hall, who led a committee review into the centre, said maintaining specific staffing levels at the centre was essential.
"It's absolutely critical because unfortunately what they are dealing with is young people who are there as a matter of last resort," Mr Hall said.
"You risk violent incidents and the assault of staff, if those levels aren't there, and also violence among the residents themselves."
Mr Hall said, although every effort was made to keep young people out of AYDC, a place of last resort was required for the small cohort of young people who are not safe to be in the community.
"Sometimes the bureaucrats in Hobart are out of touch with the reality of what has to happen on the ground up here," Mr Hall said.
"[Ashley staff] are people who do their absolute utmost under difficult and very trying circumstances."