Giving Non-English Speaking Workers The Advice They Need

The Andrews Labor Government is reaching out to non-English speaking workers to help them better understand their occupational health and safety rights.

As part of a public awareness campaign aimed at these employees, WorkSafe Victoria will launch an interactive hub this Saturday during Melbourne Victory’s home clash against Sydney FC in the A-League.

The hub – located at Gosch’s Paddock – will promote important health and safety information in nine languages in addition to English: Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, Burmese, Dari, Dinka, Khmer and Korean.

Attendees will be able to chat to Melbourne Victory W-League star Natasha Dowie, who will share her experience with injury and the dedication it takes to return to the field.

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.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy

“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.”

“More and more workers from non-English speaking backgrounds are entering the workforce, and our government wants to ensure they know that they have the same rights and protections as everyone else.”