General News

23 June, 2024

When the answer is UMM

Named for the expression that comes to mind when we’re unsure of what to say or do, the quirky character UMM will feature in a new series of WorkSafe videos, aimed at young workers.


The videos include the character responding to a range of common unsafe scenarios in retail, manufacturing, fast food, hospitality, health care and construction.

Since the start of 2023, 3501 Victorian workers under the age of 25 have reported being seriously injured, including 44 in either Hindmarsh, Horsham, Northern Grampians, West Wimmera or Yarriambiack council areas.

About a quarter were working in the construction industry.

One in 10 were from each of the following industries: manufacturing, health care and social assistance, and accommodation and food services.

The most common causes of injuries to young workers were being hit by moving objects (31 per cent), body stress (26 per cent) and falls, trips and slips (23 per cent).

About seven per cent of claims were for mental injury.

WorkSafe executive director health and safety Sam Jenkin said the UMM character was created by young people, for young people, and spoke to those who might have recently started their first part-time or full-time jobs.

“Young workers can be a fantastic asset to any team and often bring lots of energy to their role,” Mr Jenkin said.

"But sometimes their lack of experience and confidence may mean they are less likely to ask questions if something doesn’t seem right.

“UMM is here to remind young workers that it’s okay to speak up, and that no one should ever be made to feel unsafe at work - whether it’s being asked to work without the right safety equipment, or having to deal with aggressive behaviour or language.”

UMM’s return is supported by WorkSafe Victoria's visits to TAFEs across Victoria, as they hope to get the message out to young trade apprentices and pre-apprenticeship students.

For more information about safety for young workers visit


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