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Safety & Health Issues relating to the Non-English Workforce Mark A. Hernandez, CHST.

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Presentation on theme: "Safety & Health Issues relating to the Non-English Workforce Mark A. Hernandez, CHST."— Presentation transcript:


2 Safety & Health Issues relating to the Non-English Workforce Mark A. Hernandez, CHST

3 Outline Hispanic population Workplace Fatalities – BLS/OSHA Data Understanding the Hispanic Workforce Training – Translation OSHA’s Hispanic Initiatives Training Resources

4 Hispanic Population Today More Than 39 Million Latino’s Live in U.S. By 2016 the Hispanic workforce will grow by 30% Latino’s make up 11% of the U.S. workforce (16% of the Fatality Rate) Harris County is the 2 nd. Largest county in the Nation (1.5 mill.) Houston is the 4 th. largest city with Hispanic representation A recent Hispanic immigrant is less likely to: speak English or have a high school diploma. Source: Hispanic Pew Institute, 2000 Census


6 Region Fatalities: FY 2007

7 Worker Fatalities CDC-MMR: 6-6-08 Report: 1992—2006 (first time CDC specifically ID Hispanic group as the demographic with the highest fatality rate) During 2003--2006, 67% of Hispanic decedents were foreign born (Table), an increase from 52% in 1992.Table Approximately 70% of these decedents were born in Mexico. "The burden of risk is primarily on foreign-born workers,“ said Scott Richardson, a Bureau of Labor Statistics program director, in a telephone press conference about the new report.

8 Apparent Contributing Factors Foreign-born Hispanic Limited or non-existent training Language Barrier (English vs. Spanish) illiteracy in own language (nodding yes, when really it’s no) Lack of Understanding of Culture, Values Traditions by Management to close culture gap (SPALW-Newsletter 2008 Vol. 1, No. 2) Traditions and values in conflict with workplace safety Often subjected to unsafe conditions and harassment due to legal status Lack of continuing education: 2000 Census reported that only 43% have received a HS diploma. 2003 CPWR report: underreporting: undocumented workers will not complain about unsafe conditions or report unsafe conditions, near- misses for fear of loosing their jobs. 2003 CPWR report: Disadvantage of using translators in that not all translators are proficient and may catch all words loosing context Not enough Qualified Bi-lingual trainers, Supervisors

9 Understanding the Hispanic Workforce La Familia (Family) Las Tradiciones (Traditions/ Beliefs) El Respeto (Respect)/ Status & Hierarchy La Educacion (Education) Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social

10 Belief in Fatalism “Si Dios Quiere ”(if God Wishes) Manana is not just a term, but a way of life.

11 Training Training: Use Few Words/ Many Pictures Use Props and Hands on Training Always Ask questions Kinesthetic: I do & tell, you watch – You & tell do, I watch. Use understandable terms: (ISA /ANSI) Ex. NFPA 704 (universal colors, symbols, and numbers) OSHA: certified training (doc), some standards indicate: legible and understandable (asbestos). Bi-lingual trainers Train for comprehension not compliance Focus Areas: Orientation training –Hazard recognition training –Training required by OSHA standards –Emergency response training –Accident investigation training –Emergency drill training Body Harness Arnés de Cuerpo

12 Training cont. Provide ESL to employees and conversational Spanish to Supervisors to bridge the language barrier. 61% more effective in Spanish, Bilingual – 3x’s more effective. Pareto Principle: Identify the Maestro within the group and equip, educate and train to become the Leader. Use the 1989 Management Guidelines Keep Education Level in Mind (6 th or 7 th grade) Be aware of different words for different Latin American countries Literal Translating vs. Conversational (Field) Translating (if not correct will loose context) John Maxwell: All Teams rise and fall on Leadership. Leadership is nothing more than Influence.

13 OSHA Dictionary terms General OSHA Terms English to Spanish - (Diccionario de OSHA - Términos Generales de OSHA (Inglés a Español) Spanish to English - (Diccionario de OSHA - Términos generales de OSHA (Español a Inglés)) Frequently Used General Industry Terms English to Spanish (with phonetic pronunciation guide) - (Diccionario de OSHA - Términos Generales frecuentemente utilizados (Inglés a Español)) Spanish to English - (Diccionario de OSHA - Términos Generales frecuentemente utilizados (Español a Inglés)) General Industry Terms English to Spanish - (Diccionario de OSHA - Términos de la Industria General (Inglés a Español)) Frequently Used Construction Industry Terms English to Spanish (with phonetic pronunciation guide) -

14 OSHA Compliance Assistance Hispanic Employers and Workers: Quick Start - Hispanic Outreach: index_hispanic.html index_hispanic.html Publications in Spanish: ations.html OSHA Dictionaries: ml Publications in Spanish: ations.html

15 Training Resources OSHA Hispanic Outreach Fact Sheet [PDF* - 24 KB]PDF Oregon PESO Program: blications.html blications.html ASSE -Safety Professionals Latino Workforce http:/ Local Outreach: OSHA / AGC Alliance 8hr. Awareness classes for free OSHA / HASC safety videos in Spanish: Intro to OSHA website in Spanish (3.48 min) OSHA Labor laws (9.55 min) Mexican Consulate Alliance: Hotline number: 713-980-9999

16 Oficinas de OSHA Houston North Area Office: 507 N. Sam Houston Pkwy E. Ste. 400 Houston, TX 77060 281-591-2438 *227 Houston South Area Office: 17625 El Camino Real #400 Houston, TX 77058 281-286-0583 *241

17 Disclaimer This information has been developed by an OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist and is intended to assist employers, workers, and others as they strive to improve workplace health and safety. While we attempt to thoroughly address specific topics [or hazards], it is not possible to include discussion of everything necessary to ensure a healthy and safe working environment in a presentation of this nature. Thus, this information must be understood as a tool for addressing workplace hazards, rather than an exhaustive statement of an employer’s legal obligations, which are defined by statute, regulations, and standards. Likewise, to the extent that this information references practices or procedures that may enhance health or safety, but which are not required by a statute, regulation, or standard, it cannot, and does not, create additional legal obligations. Finally, over time, OSHA may modify rules and interpretations in light of new technology, information, or circumstances; to keep apprised of such developments, or to review information on a wide range of occupational safety and health topics, you can visit OSHA’s website at


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