As written in a recent OSHA Update: OSHA will require safety training to be offered in a language workers understand
“OSHA issued an enforcement memorandum directed at protecting Latino and other non-English speaking workers from workplace hazards. It directs compliance officers to ensure they check and verify that workers are receiving OSHA required training in a language they understand.”
This is an issue for any company that hires people without a good command of English. Employers have two choices: find someone who can provide the training in the alternative language, or hire an interpreter. There are very few safety consultants who are bilingual in Spanish (unfortunately, we’re not one of them). We know of none who speaks Hmong or Somali. Using a lot of demonstration and practice and a trainer who can stick to simple language helps the translator, but companies can’t assume that employees who sit in on a safety training session comprehend the information if it is given in a language they don’t understand.
This will likely be a challenge going forward. CHESS is committed to working with our clients to make sure employees understand safety hazards. For assistance with your safety training, contact CHESS.