Importance of work safety training in native language
UL Workplace Safety and Health, a company that provides safety training and other human resource tools to employers, posted in late 2013 about the importance of safety training in the native language of the worker.
Teri Hale, who is Operations Manager of Professional Learning Services, wrote the following (this is an excerpt):
Misinterpretation can lead to lower productivity, lost revenue and more seriously, injury and loss of life. This is especially true in high-risk sectors such as manufacturing, oil and gas exploration, and construction. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that language barriers are a contributing factor in 25 percent of job-related accidents. Moreover, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that fatal injury rates were 69 percent higher for foreign-born Hispanic workers than for native-born Hispanic workers (who tend to have a better grasp of English).
In 2010, OSHA announced an initiative in which it directed compliance officers to observe whether employers provide employees safety training in a language they understand. Employers who fail to properly train their employees are subject to citations and penalties.