Australian tech start-up launches voice-activated health and safety auditing tool

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Talk 5, the voice-activated auditing tool with inbuilt language translator has been unveiled to help businesses establish better workplace health and safety.

The program is designed to capture audits, checklist, survey and inspection information via audio as well as text, in 50 languages.

Founder George Bancs, who also manages his own construction business, launched Talk 5 in response to challenges he was facing and the variety of literacy levels and languages spoken by his employees. “Employing both a culturally and linguistically diverse workforce and those with poor literacy levels, I didn’t always have the confidence that audits were understood, completed and compliant,” he says.

According to 2016 ABS data, 20.8 percent of the Australian population speaks a language other than English at home. In addition, AI Group’s 2018 Workforce Development Needs report found that low levels of numeracy and literacy in the workplace leading to poor completion of workplace documents impacts 42 percent  of employers. When it comes to health and safety audits, the implications here can be dangerous or even fatal.

“For many, [audits] were a box-ticking exercise,” says Bancs. “Now, more than ever, when safety is everyone’s number one priority, it’s vital everyone is speaking the same health and safety language.”

The platform’s checklist library provides up to the minute federal and state government workplace guidelines in relation to COVID-19, including those from Safe Work Australia, Work Safe Victoria, Safe Work NSW and Work Safe Queensland, as well as working from home and more industry-specific regulations.

Features include:

  • automated language translation
  • a natural language user interface, which comprehends slang and industry jargon
  • checklist template library
  • option to edit questions in real-time and user question personalisation to prevent complacency
  • talk and text team functionality
  • integration with existing workflow management systems, and
  • ability to attach photos to audits to flag hazards.

Talk 5 has been made available to businesses of any size during the current COVID-19 crisis. Below is an explanatory video:

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