OSHA Enforcement Memo Focused on Non-English Speakers

Inspectors will verify that training was provided in a language and vocabulary the workers could understand.

OSHA issued an enforcement memorandum Wednesday that tells its compliance officers to check and verify that workers are receiving OSHA-required training in a language they understand. The directive applies to non-English speakers, not solely to Latino workers.

"This directive conforms with Secretary Solis' clear and urgent goal of reducing injuries and illnesses among Latino and other vulnerable workers," said Dr. David Michaels, the OSHA assistant secretary. "These workers represent an integral and essential part of the key industries that keep our country running every day."

Several OSHA standards require employee training, and it is well understood that training should be provided in formats and languages that workers comprehend. Companies that offer training aids and materials typically offer products in multiple languages, particularly in Spanish for the U.S. market, but also in French, German, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Italian, Chinese, Dutch, and more. The memo says compliance officers should check and verify that training was provided in a language and vocabulary that the workers could understand.

comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2019

    October 2019

    Featuring:

    • WINTER HAZARDS
      Preparing for Old Man Winter's Arrival
    • CONSTRUCTION
      Staying Safe in the Trenches
    • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
      Setting a Higher Standard: The Limitations of Regulatory Limits
    • ELECTRICAL SAFETY
      Five Important Things to Know About Arc Flash PPE Programs
    View This Issue