HR Management & Compliance

Safety Training in Any Language

Consider these recent statistics:

  • According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 729 Hispanic or Latino workers were killed from work-related injuries in 2011.
  • That works out to more than 14 deaths a week, or two Latino workers killed every single day of the year, all year long.
  • Other non-English-speaking workers are a growing presence in the workforce, including those who speak Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, and various African languages.

Increased diversity in the workplace may create language and literacy barriers. When workers don’t speak English, or have limited proficiency, they cannot communicate effectively with supervisors, coworkers, or customers. They may also have difficulty comprehending the requirements of their jobs.

In addition to problems with speaking English, some employees may not read well either. Even in their own language, they may be illiterate or only be able to read a little.


Think you have no time to train? Think again. BLR’s 7-Minute Safety Trainer® helps you fulfill key OSHA-required training tasks in as little as 7 minutes. Try it at no cost and see!


Without proper action on the part of management, language and literacy barriers can make it difficult or impossible for some employees to function effectively and safely in the workplace. These barriers can also make interaction and teamwork among workers more difficult and less efficient.

This means training issues take on even greater significance when the topic is safety.

Training Still Required

Failure to adequately train non-English-speaking employees about safety issues could not only result in lower productivity or more errors but it could also result in injury or death. The stakes are high, and your response must be equally vigilant.

OSHA says that an employer’s responsibility to provide employees with information and training about safety and health hazards doesn’t go away because an employee can’t understand standard English-language training programs. When that is the case, employers must inform and train these workers in a language they can understand.


Effective, 7-minute sessions provide comprehensive safety training at an average cost of $1 a day. Get the details.


When training employees with limited English skills, you must take special steps to ensure the training is effective:

  • Speak slowly, explain fully, and repeat important points several times.
  • Choose the simplest words and avoid technical jargon. If you must use technical terms, be sure to explain them in simple terms.
  • Use a translator with groups of employees who have only minimal English skills.
  • Demonstrate while you speak, and use visual aids, such as pictures and props, to supplement your words.
  • Encourage participation. Be patient and help employees express their thoughts and questions about the topic.
  • Have employees practice new skills during the training session so that you can see if they’ve understood.
  • Use feedback when training non-English-speaking employees to confirm comprehension. Also allow extra time for questions.
  • Provide handouts in the language or languages trainees speak and read.
  • Follow up on the job to make sure that there have been no misunderstandings and that employees correctly apply what they’ve learned in training.

The information in today’s Advisor comes from BLR®’s presentation, “Managing Non-English-Speaking Employees.”

Need more quick-and-easy training on dozens of other safety topics? BLR has just the solution for you with 7-Minute Safety Trainer.

Effective Safety Training in Just 7 Minutes!

All told, this “trainer’s bible” contains 50 prewritten meetings covering almost every aspect of safety you’d want or need to train on, in a format designed to be taught in as little as 7 minutes each. All of them are perfect for getting new employees off to a safe start, as well as keeping veteran workers alert and up to date on all your safety concerns.

Major topics in the 7-Minute Safety Trainer include:
—Confined spaces
—Electrical safety
—Fire safety and emergency response
—HazCom
—Machine guarding and lockout/tagout
—Material handling
—PPE use and care
—Housekeeping/slips, trips, and falls
—And dozens more

Just make as many copies as you need of the included handouts and quizzes, and you’re ready to train.

Equally important is that the program ships new meetings every quarter to respond to new and changed regulations. This service is included in the program price, which averages just over $1 a working day. In fact, this is one of BLR’s most popular safety programs.

If you’d like to personally evaluate 7-Minute Safety Trainer and see how it can build safety awareness, we’ll be happy to send it to you for 30 days on a no-cost, no-obligation trial basis. Just let us know, and we’ll arrange it.

E-Z Training at a Phenomenal Price

To help train employees in a broad range of safety and health topics, savvy safety professionals have for years relied on BLR’s 7-Minute Safety Trainer. This essential training resource allows you to provide concise, memorable training easily and effectively in just a few minutes. Materials are ready-to-use, and each session supplies a detailed trainer’s outline as well as a handout, quiz, and quiz answers to get your points across quickly—and cost-effectively.

All told, 7-Minute Safety Trainer contains 50 prewritten meetings covering almost every aspect of safety you’d want or need to train on, in a format designed to be taught in as little as 7 minutes each. You can view a complete table of contents here, but among the major topics are:
—Confined spaces
—Electrical safety
—Fire safety/response
—HazCom
—Machine guarding and lockout/tagout
—Material handling
—PPE use and care
—Housekeeping/slips, trips, and falls
—And dozens more

Just make as many copies as needed of the included handouts and quizzes, and you’re ready to train. You can view materials from a sample module here.

Equally important is that when new or changed regulations compel new training topics or training needs to be freshened, the program ships new meetings every quarter. This service is included in the program price, which averages just over a dollar a working day. In fact, this is one of BLR’s most popular safety programs.

If you’d like to personally evaluate 7-Minute Safety Trainer and see how it can build safety awareness, we’ll be happy to send it to you for 30 days, on a no-cost, no-obligation trial basis. Just let us know and we’ll arrange it.

Download Table of Contents
Download Sample Safety Meeting