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Know better. Do better.

A study of Filipino migrant worker engagement into health and safety in the dairy industry in Mid-Canterbury.

Jane Fowles Know Better. Do Better. Kellogg report image

Executive summary

The New Zealand dairy industry has witnessed a steep growth in the number of workers from the Philippines (Southeast Asia) entering New Zealand to work on dairy farms.

Like any dairy farm worker, there is an importance of keeping these migrant workers safe while working. However, with a different cultural background and a different understanding of health and safety, it can be challenging to build health and safety engagement on farm.

This research report attempts to answer the question: ‘How can we better engage our Filipino dairy farm workers, in Mid-Canterbury, with health and safety on farm?’

To do this, the research looked at general migrant worker barriers to health and safety engagement, how the cultural background of a Filipino influences their behaviour and choices in relation to health and safety and how Filipino cultural dimensions compare to that of New Zealand and New Zealand’s agricultural culture.

Finally, the research looked to understand the role of cultural intelligence in relation to health and safety engagement before providing practical recommendations.

Key Findings:

Filipino migrant workers coming into New Zealand face the same barriers to health and safety engagement that are shared across the world. They have their own unique cultural personality that in some areas is contrasting to the New Zealand cultural personality. Their understanding of what health and safety in New Zealand looks like is varied.

Employers, while possessing a degree of cultural intelligence, could benefit from furthering their leadership skills in this area. Particularly to better lead health and safety engagement and therefore, improving the safety climate on farm.

To better engage Filipino dairy farm workers, in Mid-Canterbury, with health and safety on farm, we must provide a way to assist employers gain better knowledge in the areas of cultural intelligence and health and safety.

That will then lead to everyone doing better and home safer, every day.

Recommendations:

Improve employers and Cultural Intelligence – Know Better, Do Better.

Improve dairy farm employer’s cultural intelligence through learning more about the cultural personalities of their workers. The writer recommends this is done through:

  • Developing a website-based application that employers can access with information about cultural personalities and tips to engage the worker on health and safety.
  • Developing cultural intelligence-based workshops, for employers.
    Improve migrant Worker health and safety Knowledge – Know Better, Do Better.

Promote the importance of health and safety to our Filipino migrant workers. The writer recommends this is done through:

  • Developing a website-based application that migrant workers can access both in New Zealand, and prior to arrival. Including information around hazard identification and management and worker engagement.
  • Developing Filipino migrant worker health and safety workshops.

Know Better. Do Better.