Preventing workplace harm through research, digital services
New research projects are underway to help working people overcome language barriers while accessing safety information and preventing employee burnout.
The Centre for Work Health and Safety has partnered with digital innovators Talk 5 and Pioneera as part of a new program exploring how app-based interventions can reduce harm in workplaces.
Head of SafeWork NSW Natasha Mann said while there are many variables on worksites across NSW, most workers will have access to some form of technology, whether on a phone, a notebook computer, or other device.
"This public private partnership combines science, technology and evidence in a bid to deliver better outcomes for employees and businesses,” Ms Mann said
“The Centre is working with these two New South Wales based businesses to leverage their ground-breaking safety ideas with a focus on practical solutions.”
The Talk 5 app, a recipient of a SafeWork Award 2021, allows workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to access important safety information in their preferred language.
Talk 5’s Managing Director, George Bancs, said the business is pleased to be working with the NSW Government and understands the workforce is culturally diverse.
“Talk 5 recognises bringing working people together from all walks of life requires an unparalleled level of communication,” Mr Bancs said.
“We understand workplace safety depends on people and businesses having quality communication methods that are easy to understand.
“Talk 5’s service delivers digital multilingual checklists, safety guidance and more via visual, voice and audio technologies.”
The partnership will ensure the Talk 5 app meets standards for culturally diverse employees while identifying ways to enhance the product with an underlying evidence base.
The research will also aim to boost the mental health and wellbeing of working people.
In a bid to improve support for employees the Centre is partnering with Pioneera. The company has created an online wellbeing app that employs a mixture of psychology and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver personalised nudges to workers to catch the precursors to burn out before it appears.
Danielle Owen Whitford, founder and CEO of Pioneera, said the use of smart technologies like natural language processing and sentiment analysis can help employers detect and prevent burnout in teams.
“Pioneera aims to create workplaces where both employees and employers have the right insights and tools to be healthier, happier and more productive at work,” Ms Owen Whitford said.
The Pioneera app features an animated AI assistant that delivers stress management tips, or ‘nudges’, to workers in real-time as needed.”
Director Centre for Work Health and Safety Skye Buatava said the Centre for Work Health and Safety is working with diverse stakeholders to develop quality solutions to work health and safety problems.
“There are so many untapped ideas to solve common WHS issues just sitting in the minds of people who are on the frontline. We want to work with those people to create safer workplaces,” Ms Buatava said.
Visit the Centre for Work Health and Safety website for more information.