05/09/2005

The Impact of Multi-Language Worksites on Safety and Health

A recent American Society of Safety Engineers' (ASSE) Council on Practices and
Standards (CoPS) survey of its Practice Specialty members found that
multi-language work sites play a major role in developing and implementing
effective workplace safety and health programs. To address this issue, CoPS
developed a white paper and a set of recommendations titled "The Impact of
Multi-Language Worksites on Safety, Health and Environmental (SH&E)
Professionals."

In fact, multiple languages can significantly impact a worksite when
communicating safety and health information to workers.

Key findings and recommendations in the paper include:

  • Professionals must be more proactive in addressing issues at multi-language
    worksites.
  • Cultural differences play a crucial role within multi-language worksites, as
    translation may not always be effective if cultural differences are not
    understood.
  • The translation of materials for workers must take regional dialects into
    consideration to avoid miscommunication.
  • Multi-language worksites are a growing, complex challenge for the profession.
  • OHS professionals should plan for multi-language worksites to prepare for
    future challenges.
  • OHS professionals in other countries are encouraged to learn several
    languages as a way to obtain and maintain a competitive advantage in today's
    global marketplace.
  • Worker literacy must be improved. Translating documents is not efficient or
    effective if those using the material are not literate in their own language.

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work