12/20/2004

Language barriers mean new dangers at work

Employers have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act to provide all of
their employees with the appropriate safety training to enable them to do their
jobs without risk of illness or injury. But, concern that migrant workers could
be missing out on crucial health and safety training because their employers
are not providing safety material in any language other than English has
prompted the British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Trades Union
Congress (TUC) to produce new safety information translated into 21 different
languages.

The languages are:

Albanian

Arabic

Bengali

Chinese

Czech

Greek

Gujarati

Lithuanian

Pashto

Polish

Portuguese

Punjabi

Romanian

Russian

Slovak

Spanish

Tamil

Turkish

Ukranian

Urdu

Welsh

'Your health, your safety: A guide for workers' provides information about
safety rights at work, the level of safety training that workers should expect
from their employers, and who they should complain to if they believe their
safety is being compromised by poor workplace practices.

With migrant workers now employed in many workplaces, lots with only a limited
grasp of English, the HSE and the TUC were anxious that safety training purely
delivered in English was not being sufficiently well understood.

Thorough, but easy-to-understand training is vital if workers are to stay
healthy and safe at work. Unions are doing all they can to help foreign workers
grasp the basics of English and now employers can use this information to make
sure the safety message is being understood loudly and clearly.

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Health and Safety Executive (HSE)