Multicultural workers need to better understand their rights for safety at work

The Victorian government is taking steps to help non-English speaking workers better understand their occupational health and safety rights.

A new public awareness campaign aimed at this particular cohort of the Victorian workforce has been launched by Worksafe Victoria, which includes an  interactive hub promoting important health and safety information in nine languages in addition to English: Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, Burmese, Dari, Dinka, Khmer and Korean.

“Every worker has a right to be protected from health and safety risks at work, regardless of where they come from or what language they speak.”, stated Jill Hennessy, Minister for Workplace Safety. 

The government says that the number of non-English speaking workers in Victoria is increasing and the language barriers they face can make them vulnerable. Between July and December last year, more than 440 non-English speaking workers were referred to an interpreter after calling WorkSafe’s advisory service, up significantly from 274 in the previous six months.

A total of 926 workers have been referred to interpreters since the program first started 18 months ago.




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