Campaign gives workplace safety a common language


Thursday, 01 April, 2021

Campaign gives workplace safety a common language

WorkSafe Victoria has launched a safety campaign to assist workers from culturally different backgrounds. The $970,000 ‘Workplace Safety is our Common Language’ campaign will be delivered to workers in 19 different languages to help everyone understand their health and safety rights, and equip them with the knowledge and confidence to raise questions or concerns.

The campaign includes translated advice for workers, resources for employers, and videos featuring real workers who share their experiences in Victorian workplaces. The campaign acknowledges that talking about workplace safety can be difficult when working with close friends or family, and can be even harder when co-workers speak a different language.

WorkSafe Victoria now has health and safety information available in nine new languages, including Bahasa Indonesian, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Malay, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai and Urdu. This is in addition to the information already available in Arabic, Burmese, Cantonese, Dari, Dinka, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

WorkSafe Victoria Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said employers must ensure that workers from culturally diverse backgrounds understand their health and safety rights. Nielsen added that WorkSafe will provide resources in additional languages to help all workers and employers understand their rights and responsibilities, and ensure that every worker returns home safe at the end of the day.

“We know people who speak multiple languages and are learning English face unique risks compared to their co-workers, but that is no excuse for failing to ensure their health and safety,” said Nielsen.

The campaign was launched on 21 March 2021 across multicultural print, radio and digital media outlets, with WorkSafe Victoria hosting an online panel event for community leaders, business owners and workers from multicultural communities on 24 March.

The panel featured prominent community and business representatives, including Afro-Australian Student Organisation founder Monica Forson and former Victoria Street Business Association President Meca Ho, who discussed health and safety in multicultural workplaces and a path towards normalising conversations about safety.

More than 280 Victorians have contacted WorkSafe Victoria’s interpreter service so far this financial year. Workers interested in learning more about their health and safety rights can call TIS National on 131 450 to reach WorkSafe Victoria with an interpreter, between 7.30 am and 6.30 pm Monday to Friday.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Ricochet64

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