Speak up for safety: WorkSafe aims to improve the country’s health and safety

WorkSafe New Zealand is encouraging Kiwi workers to “get talking” about health and safety with a new campaign via Assignment Group.

The integrated media campaign is part of its existing ‘Use your mouth’ platform, and launched earlier this month as a way to educate viewers on how to identify and discuss issues such as bullying, fatigue, manual handling or noise at work. 

WorkSafe’s general manager of strategy and performance, Jude Urlich, says while the campaign is lighthearted and likeable, the underlying concept was no joke. 

“Creating working environments where workers feel safe and are encouraged to speak up about risks is critical to improving health and safety outcomes in New Zealand.” 

Shot in a series of locations from cafes to milking sheds, the 30-second videos are themed like sports commentary bits and hosted by fictional characters ‘Pat Silverwood’ and ‘Joe Munro’. 

The microphone-welding duo, dressed in matching purple blazers, exchange witty banter as they give viewers a play-by-play of workers speaking out about workplace hazards. 

The ‘fatigue’ video sees Silverwood and Munro sitting atop a plastic cow as they describe the tiredness that early mornings at the milking shed can cause. “Textbook delivery!” Munro calls out as the farm-hand approaches her superior to discuss her fatigue. 

The series carries on the successful ‘Use your mouth’ campaign platform that WorkSafe launched in April 2017, which similarly encouraged people to think and act on workplace risks.

WorkSafe is committed to helping New Zealand reach its target of reducing fatal and serious non-fatal work-related injury by 25 percent by the year 2020. The latest data suggests interim targets have been met, with the fatal injury rate for the three years to 2016 at 2.1 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.

Ulrich said the key would be getting people speaking out to help correct workplace behaviour. “We need to get people talking about health and safety,” she said.  

‘Use your Mouth’ commentator Pat Silverwood clearly agrees, closing out each video with the sound advice: “Your mouth is a really good piece of safety gear, so use yours to get talking.”

The integrated campaign will feature on digital channels, radio and social media as well as outdoor executions.  

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