Adjusting to suit your audience

Kent O'Sullivan -
Safety First
- 23 Mar 2006 ( #252 )
1 min read
Kent O'Sullivan is a Certified Master Instructor Trainer with The Columbia Compliance Group. Columbia Compliance Group is a safety consulting firm that specialises in offering professional mobile equipment safety training programs & publications throughout North America.
In a multicultural society, new immigrant groups can retain their ethnicity, language and traditions without challenge; a freedom we hold dear. However, that freedom can sometimes have a significant impact on employee safety in the workplace.

Many people entering workforces today come from countries where workplace safety is not a high priority. On the contrary, they may be accustomed to performing dangerous, risky work without personal protection equipment and other protections we have in place and take for granted. They may never have experienced or been offered any safety training. They may come from a culture where it is expected that a worker will not approach or bother a boss or superior, except under extremely dire circumstances.

Considering those scenarios, diverse workforce safety training strategies should be instituted and maintained in every workplace. Toward that goal, here are some helpful training strategies to help you adapt effectively to the needs of increasingly diverse workforces - especially where language barriers may be an issue:
  • Speak clearly, explain fully, and repeat important points often.
  • Explain applicable items in simple terms.
  • Stress the importance of following safety regulations and policies.
  • Show employees how to use safety protections and explain why they are important.
  • Demonstrate while speaking, using pictures, diagrams, and props as supplements where appropriate.
  • Have employees practice and demonstrate newly taught skills to ensure they have understood.
  • Ensure workers can understand written materials; do not assume they have the ability to read forms, signs, and written directions.
  • Team non-English-speaking employees with English-speaking employees.
  • Follow up on the job to ensure employees properly apply what they have learned in training.

Happy training!
Also Read:
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Increasing the efficiency of your warehouse operations Safety First - 23 Mar 2006 (#252) John Geary believes on-board computers on forklifts will empower operators to do jobs in warehouses.
Call to nominate Victorians for safe work
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Call to nominate Victorians for safe work Safety First - 16 Mar 2006 (#251) Are forklift operations in your workplace safer than most? If so, nominate for a workplace safety award.
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