An Associated Press story last week addresses the growing problem of workplace injuries among immigrant workers who may speak little or no English.
With more immigrant labor entering the construction and landscaping business, proper safety training is becoming an issue. A number of companies are failing to adequately train their non-English speaking workers, and injuries among them are on the rise.
Delaware’s Delmarva Safety Association (DSA) has decided to team up with the state’s Department of Labor to offer two workshops to employers on making their workplaces safe for workers who don’t speak English. The workshops are targeted at the construction and landscaping industries.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanics accounted for about 6 percent of the 4,360 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in Delaware resulting in lost work days in 2004. But they accounted for 15 percent of incidents in the construction and excavation industries, and equal percentages of hand-tool injuries and falls to lower levels.