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Campaign to aid ethnic workers

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PR. NO.17 /79




-(Statement by the Minister for Productivity, Mr Ian Macphee, MP)

A campaign to reduce the number of industrial accidents suffered by ethnic workers was announced tonight by the Minister for Productivity, Mr Ian Macphee.

He made the announcement during a dinner address in Geelong to the Geelong Productivity Group.

Mr Macphee said "The Commonwealth Government is financing a six language audio-visual campaign aimed at making ethnic workers more aware of the need, for safety at work.

More than 300 people die each year as a result of industrial accidents and about 350,000 people are injured. A high proportion of those workers are migrants who are at risk because of language difficulties.

"Too many people are killed or injured and too much equipment is damaged through carelessness or the illusion that ’it can't happen to me!"

.Mr Macphee said that copies of the audio-visual programs would be widely distributed, with commentaries in. Arabic, Greek, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, . Spanish and Turkish, as well as English.

The programs were produced by the Productivity Promotion Council of Australia in consultation with the Department of Productivity, industry and trade unions. They were financed from the $30,000 allocated to occupational safety programs under the Galbally Report on Programs and

Services to migrants. .

Mr Macphee said that he announced in November 1978 an initiative aimed at improving Australia's occupational safety and health performance through a national awareness promotion campaign, involving the Commonwealth, States, safety bodies, employers and unions.

He emphasised that whilst the accident problem is acknowledged to be universal affecting both indigenous and ethnic populations, the project will take into consideration problems faced by ethnic groups.

"My Department, in conjunction with the Productivity Promotion Council of Australia and the Standards Association of Australia, has been assisting industry in occupational safety education. Although some progress has been made, we still have a long way to go before occupational accident figures

can be reduced to an acceptable level", Mr Macphee said.

Initially, 100 sets are being made available through a wide range of outlets. These include:

. The Migrant Resource and Settlement Centres; . Regional Offices of Trades and Labour Councils; . Branches of the Confederation of Australian Industry; . The ACTU

. Regional Offices of the Departments of Employment and Youth Affairs and Productivity.