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Sydney construction manager creates new platform to improve health & safety during COVID-19 period and beyond

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George bancs, founder Talk 5
George Bancs

Today on World Health & Safety Day, Talk 5, the world’s first patent-pending voice-activated auditing tool, with inbuilt language translator, has been unveiled to help businesses establish better workplace health and safety during Covid-19 and beyond. 

Empowering businesses to be more safety-conscious, compliant and inclusive, Talk 5 is designed to capture audits, checklist, survey and inspection information via audio as well as text, in 50 languages, faster and more accurately – mitigating risk and removing complacency.

Sydney entrepreneur George Bancs, comments, “I built Talk 5 in response to challenges I faced in my own construction business, 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. For many, they were a box-ticking exercise. Now more than ever, when safety is everyone’s number one priority, it’s vital everyone is speaking the same health and safety language.” 

WH&S fast facts 

  • In NSW alone there were 5,368 workers compensation claims 2013-2016 – Safe Work NSW At-Risk Strategy 2018 – 2022
    • 85% of claimants language was not English or Indigenous  
    • 76% of claimants required an interpreter 
  • 99% of employers are affected by low levels of literacy and numeracy in their workforce Workforce Development Needs – AI Group 2018
  • 44% of Australians have literacy skills below the level required to operate effectively in the workplace – PIAAC
  • Low levels of numeracy and literacy in the workplace impacts employers with poor completion of workplace documents (55%), teamwork and communication problems (50%), recruitment difficulties (33%), material wastage and errors (31%), potential for workplace injuries or unsafe work practices (26%) – Workforce Development Needs – AI Group 2018
  • $61.8M total cost of workplace injuries and diseases in Australia – Safe Work Australia 2012 – 2013
  • 20.8% of the Australian population speak a language other than English at home – Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016

Improving workplace health and safety during the COVID-19 period

The platform’s checklist library provides up to the minute Federal and State Government workplace guidelines (including those from Safe Work Australia, Work Safe Victoria, Safe Work NSW and Work Safe Queensland) in relation to COVID-19, working from home and more industry-specific regulations. 

With employees adapting to working from home for the foreseeable future, Talk 5 enables employers to check in on the health and wellbeing of employees as well as track workloads through the checklists functionality.

“During the COVID-19 period and beyond, it’s imperative businesses find better ways to collect and share information and deploy agile, cloud-based, employee management solutions. Talk 5 creates a rapid response to any workplace health and safety or project management issues with accurate real-time data,” Bancs comments.

Seamlessly integrating into any work management system including launch partners, simPRO, Talk 5 will drive greater efficiencies in businesses across Australia and beyond with a range of game-changing features.

  • Automated language-translation tool means employers can speak to each worker in their own language, and still receive all the data back in English
  • 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 & Text team functionality 
  • Offline mode – no tools down just because the power’s out
  • Integrates with any workflow management system
  • Ability to attach photos to audits to flag hazards
  • All the basic keypad functionalities used by other audit systems
  • Use on any device

Free to all businesses of any size to implement during Covid-19, the Talk 5 app will be beneficial to a broad spectrum of industries, including construction, emergency services, hospitality, transport, logistics and retail.

App available for download from Google Play and iTunes.  Visit talk5.audio to find out more. 

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