WorkSafe Victoria launches ‘UMM’ campaign for young workers

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UMM worksafe vic mascot in ad

The campaign has been designed to address a key problem: young people in the workplace may not feel informed or have the confidence to speak up about occupational health and safety issues.

“UMM is that feeling you get when something’s not right,” says a Facebook post from WorkSafe Victoria’s new social media campaign aimed at workers aged 15 to 24.

Posts in the campaign link to a web portal of clear and concise information about workers’ rights to a safe working environment.

‘UMM’ doubles as the campaign’s mascot and the name chosen for the uncomfortable experience of knowing something may be amiss, but not feeling comfortable or informed enough to raise concerns. It’s directed towards young workers and aims to address the common but awkward or intimidating situations that arise in the workplace.

“Like many young workers, UMM is eager to make a good impression, but can feel a little awkward about speaking up if something feels unsafe,” says WorkSafe executive director, health and safety, Dr Narelle Beer. “No worker should ever feel unsafe. We’ve all experienced that ‘umm’ feeling before, so we want to empower young people to better understand their rights and feel confident speaking up when something isn’t safe.”

The campaign was created by young people and targets 15- to 19-year-olds who may be starting their first jobs, and 20- to 24-year-olds starting their first professional roles.

UMM builds on the current ‘Unsafe is Always Unacceptable‘ campaign, which is aimed at raising employer awareness of young workers’ vulnerability.

WorkSafe accepted 2431 claims from workers aged 24 or younger last year. But the campaign is about more than just the risk of physical injury.

“This campaign will show that unsafe work practices can happen in a range of industries and situations – from unreasonable workloads, to comments about appearance or being asked to complete tasks without proper training or guidance,” says Dr Beer.

A series of videos also answer workplace safety questions for young workers.


The UMM social campaign is running across Facebook and Instagram.

Image credit: WorkSafe Victoria

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