Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Jun 15, 2010

Safety: How are you training your non-English speaking workers?


Providing employees with safety training in a language they understand is not only a good idea, its also required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHAs long-standing directive has been that employers must train employees in a manner they can understand. But the Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, recently announced that inspectors would begin enforcing that standard by directly asking employees whether they understood the safety training provided to them.

Providing training in a manner understood by employees goes beyond merely translating material. For example, if an employee cant read, you may need to use image flash cards to appropriately communicate the material he or she needs to understand. Get creative and use all resources available to you in reaching out to non-English speaking employees or those with other limitations. Not only will it help you meet OSHAs standard, itll also improve the effectiveness of your safety training programs. Check out the numerous Spanish language safety resources from BLR, available free through our member website, and call your Vigilant safety professional for other ideas.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.