Vic releases specialised safety advice for seasonal workers
WorkSafe Victoria has introduced a new initiative to provide specialised safety resources to Pacific Islanders, to help them stay safe while working on Victorian farms. Co-designed with Victoria’s Pacific Islander community, the videos, posters and written guides will be available in five languages — Bislama, Fijian, Samoan, Tongan and English. WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer said the resources would communicate directly to seasonal workers to provide straightforward safety tips and advice.
The new material will cover what to expect when working in Victoria, including workers’ rights and responsibilities, employer responsibilities and the role of WorkSafe Victoria. The resources will also help users look after themselves while working in Victoria, with information on how to seek help if they’re injured. The resources include advice for staying safe while working on a farm, including key hazards, working with vehicles and machinery, safely lifting and moving heavy loads, using ladders and elevated work platforms and the importance of personal protective equipment.
“It is vital that all workers have access to health and safety information in a language they understand. Seasonal workers can face unique risks, not only if there is a language barrier, but also because they may be unfamiliar with Victorian workplaces, do not fully understand their health and safety rights and can be more reluctant to speak up if they feel unsafe or unsure about a task,” Dr Beer said.
Community member Randall Prior, who was involved in the consultation process, said the project will help make seasonal workers safer when working on Victorian farms. “By using oral and visual communication and responding to the particular issues that face seasonal workers, these new resources will contribute significantly to a safer work environment for the workers. The whole process offers a model for anyone else who wants to communicate effectively with migrant workers,” Prior said.
The resources will be shared online and through the Pasifika community and stakeholder networks. Employers are also encouraged to use the materials as part of their worker induction process.
To access the resources, click here.
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