INDEPENDENT NEWS

New report on culture of workers and greater injury rates

Published: Fri 14 Dec 2018 09:05 AM
The Superdiversity Institute of Law, Policy and Business released today a report for Worksafe, New Zealand’s primary workplace health and safety regulator, onHealth and Safety regulators in a superdiverse context: review of challenges and lessons from United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
The report examines how regulators in three superdiverse countries are challenged by and are working to improve the health and safety outcomes for a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) population, which tend to have a significantly higher rate of injury. The Report provides recommendations and proposed actions for WorkSafe based on the challenges and the lessons to be learned from overseas regulators.
Chair of the Superdiversity Institute, Mai Chen, said “WorkSafe, with assistance from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) commissioned us to interview health and safety regulators in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia because those countries have similar health and safety regulations, and have similarly high levels of superdiversity, particularly when it comes to major cities.
In London, one in three residents were born outside the United Kingdom; in Toronto, 46.1% of the population was not born in Canada; and in Melbourne, 40.2% of the population was not born in Australia. This compares to Auckland where 44% of the population was not born in New Zealand (2013 Census).
The Superdiversity Institute’s findings show that achieving good health and safety outcomes for CALD populations requires a strategic and joined up approach. However, ad hoc reactions to fatalities and serious injuries were too often the approach in other superdiverse countries.
Ms Chen said, “Our report made 15 high-level recommendations for WorkSafe, on how they could improve health and safety for workers who are culturally and linguistically diverse including:
• Prioritising mental health of CALD workers arising from discrimination;
• Using inspections and investigations to improve outcomes for CALD workers;
• Engaging and better educating CALD communities on health and safety and worker rights, and focusing on communication and language;
• Providing more guidance to all employers on the challenges of keeping CALD workers safe and the best tools to do so; and
• Applying a Superdiversity Framework to Worksafe including prioritising diversity in recruitment and training.
The report is being published on WorkSafe and the Superdiversity Institute’s websites following the release of New Zealand’s Health and Safety at Work Strategy 2018-2028.
“The principles of the Strategy are well-suited to applying a Superdiversity Framework to health and safety at work, and set an excellent platform to improve workplace health and safety outcomes for CALD workers,” said Ms Chen.
ENDS
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