The Business & Legal Reports, Inc. (BLR) survey asked: “How many languages are spoken among your company’s employees?”
Fully 3 of every 4 of the 493 respondents reported that at least two languages were spoken at their facility. Thirty-eight percent of respondents reported 3 to 6 languages, 28 percent reported 2 languages, 6 percent reported 7 to 10, and 4 percent reported more than 10. Only 24 percent reported that theirs was a one-language workforce.
“This poll is yet more evidence of the continued diversification of the American workforce,” commented Steve Quilliam, managing editor of Safety.BLR.com. “That trend places a big challenge for employers, because the obligation to ensure that employees understand safety and health training and follow OSHA safety and health requirements doesn’t change – no matter how many languages are spoken in your facility.”
To help employers address multiple language worksites, Safety.BLR.com now has a Spanish Resources Center at http://safety.blr.com/spanish.cfm. The Center includes Spanish more than a 100 training handouts and 69 quizzes on multiple OSHA topics. Some typical training topics in the Resources Center include Spanish handouts and quizzes on confined spaces, defensive driving, electrical safety, and eye protection.
The challenge: finding safety meetings for Hispanic workers.
OSHA itself has acknowledged this challenge, recently announcing a cooperative alliance with officials from Mexico and specialists from Georgia Tech aimed at improving safety among Hispanic workers.
To help employers get their training started, BLR has made available a sample hazard communication training meeting in English and Spanish, similar to those available at Safety.BLR.com. To download this free sample, go to http://www.blr.com/81001600/PRS63
Old Saybrook, Conn.-based BLR produces plain-English compliance and training resources for safety, environmental, HR, and compensation managers. For a free catalog, call 800-727-5257 or visit www.BLR.com.
Safety.BLR.com Managing Editor
860-510-0100 x 2148