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Fri December 06 2019

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NZ safety campaign use humour to get message across

6 Aug A comedian and a top-ranked junior weightlifter are fronting a new video campaign aimed at encouraging New Zealand workers to do the easiest thing to improve health and safety – speak up.

The new campaign follows is a sequel to last year’s initiative, Safe Guy, which was fronted by comedian Guy D’Angelo Martin. In this year’s Safe Guys campaign, he is accompanied by an weightlifter who is also popular on Instagram, Montel Tivoli, to form a duo of Safe Guys.

The duo play out different scenarios in a series of videos that will be used to spread messages about workplace health and safety. The ‘be a safe guy’ campaign is focused on reducing workplace injuries and fatalities for young workers by reminding people that being part of a work whānau – extended family or community - means looking out for, and speaking up for each other.

WorkSafe Strategy and Performance Manager Jude Urlich says that research off the back of last year’s campaign found that people could really relate to the characters played out by the Safe Guy and that those surveyed said they were more likely to speak up about health and safety matters after viewing the campaign.

“This year’s campaign looks at two workmates and how they interact in the workplace. The Safe Guys play out a number of scenes that most people can relate to.”

Last year 63 people were fatally injured in New Zealand workplaces and almost 30,000 suffered injuries that meant they needed more than a week off work. The rate of serious injury for Māori workers is higher than for the total population and almost 90% of workplace fatalities are men. Also of concern to WorkSafe is that each year ten times more people die from long-term health issues caused by work.

Urlich continued: “We are using humour to share what is actually a really serious message – that too many New Zealand workers are being hurt at work – especially young Māori men. When it comes to looking after your workmates you’ve got to speak up – and it really doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you do it”.

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