Protecting all your employees from injury is a top priority for employers, however protecting a culturally diverse workforce creates a unique set of challenges. As an American employer, what are you legally required to do? What are the most effective and affordable methods of training a diverse workforce in safety practices?
The good news is that there are resources from employers across regions and industries to help. Safety and medical professionals are spreading the word about the best way to adapt the safety culture within their professional communities. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has funded many projects to develop specialized safety training resources, drawing upon labor organizations and research centers. There are resources available, if you search for them, which will help you maintain worker safety, provide medical care for multi-cultural workers, and provider service lists for translation and interpreting.
Safety First. Recovery Fast
As a group, these workers are at greater risk of work injury than U.S.-born workers, even if they are working the same jobs because of:
- Limited experience
- Language communication barriers
- Less formal education
- Cultural differences
When employers and employees don’t speak the same language, the need for customized safety training is obvious. However, even those foreign-born workers who seem fluent in English may also be at higher risk and require specialized training due to cultural differences such as:
- The worker’s country of origin may not promote worker safety as a high priority. And those workers could be unaware that they can legally demand a safe workplace.
- He or she may be unaware that U.S. employers and safety professionals are required by law to comply with many government safety requirements.
- Even though foreign born workers can speak fluent English, they may have limited capacity to read English. This may result in their inability to participate in any written training programs.
Without the proper safety training and injury response methods to protect your entire workforce, you may be exposing yourself to an unfamiliar business risk. To control these risks, develop the process you need to make sure all your employees, including those from different cultures , remain as injury-free as possible on the job, and are medically treated to return to work safely and quickly.
NEC Insurance is one of the largest independent insurance brokers in Missouri offering business and personal insurance, financial services, and risk prevention. For more information visit www.necins.com or call 636.271.2481.