May 9th 2019
Health and safety regulators in a superdiverse context [Superdiversity Institute’s report - 2018]
If you are looking at providing equitable health and safety outcomes for your culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) employees, you might be interested in looking at this report that was published by the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business in 2018. The report examines the challenges faced by the regulators in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia and what are being done to improve the health and safety outcomes for their culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations, as well as key recommendations.
Included in the report are ACC claims data which shows a significantly elevated incidence rate of work-related claims for injury and illness among Pacific peoples, and people identifying as Middle Eastern, Latin American or African, as compared to European people. While Asian people show a lower ACC claim rate compared to the other groups, the researchers explained that there are significant language and other barriers to accessing ACC services among Māori and Asians.
Noted in the report is that the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia use a self-regulatory and flexible framework which is similar to what New Zealand uses (a Robens model of health and safety regulation). As well, the level of superdiversity of these countries is similar to that of New Zealand.
With increasing workers (and employers) arriving from very different health and safety cultures, New Zealand employers are and will be facing increasing health and safety challenges in the workplace. Migrants and refugees may have different expectations from workers (and employers). They may perceive and react differently to the health and safety framework and practices compared to those born in New Zealand.
The findings from this report are considered highly relevant to employers addressing the health and safety needs of their CALD workers to ensure that these employees achieve equitable health and safety outcomes.
This report was commissioned by WorkSafe, New Zealand’s primary workplace health and safety regulator and supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).