Pacific Islander workers will receive specialised safety resources in their own language as part of a WorkSafe initiative to help them stay safe while working on Victorian farms.
Published:23 March 2022
Co-designed with Victoria's Pacific Island 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.
"It is vital that all workers have access to health and safety information in a language they understand," Dr Beer said.
"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."
The new material will cover:
What to expect when working in Victoria including workers' rights and responsibilities, employer responsibilities and the role of WorkSafe.
Looking after yourself while working in Victoria and how to seek help if you're injured.
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.
Community member Randall Prior, who was involved in the consultation process, said the project spoke directly to seasonal workers and would make them safer when working 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," Mr Prior said.
"The whole process offers a model for anyone else who wants to communicate effectively with migrant workers."
The resources will be shared online and through the Pasifika community and stakeholder networks. Employers are also being encouraged to use the materials as part of their worker induction process.