The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a launched construction safety initiative targeting Hispanic workers. The federal agency conducted a program for Hispanic construction workers in Georgia earlier this year, and it is currently focusing on Hispanic workers elsewhere in the country.
Recently, OSHA announced that it would partner with the Consulate General of Mexico in New Orleans in an initiative aimed at protecting Mexican construction workers in Louisiana.
The agreement calls for developing and delivering Spanish-language training materials and outreach on hazards in the workplace. These materials will warn workers about fall hazards, heat illness, toxic exposure, electrocution hazards, and injuries from being struck by objects or caught in between objects.
The federal agency has formed similar alliances in other states to provide training materials to workers in a language they are comfortable with.
Language barriers are some of the most underestimated workplace hazards. If workers are not able to understand instructions, they are less able to perform a task responsibly and safely. In fact, language and communication barriers are among the reasons Hispanic workers are at a higher risk of workplace injury than their English-speaking counterparts.