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Hispanic OutreachStep 4: Where to Find OSHA Training Requirements and How They Apply to Spanish-Speaking Employees

Spanish-speaking employees accounted for a disproportionate number of workplace fatalities in 2006. Hispanic employee fatalities accounted for 16 percent of the 5,703 total fatal work injuries in the U.S. The rate of 4.7 fatalities per 100,000 employees for Hispanic employees was 21 percent higher than the rate of 3.9 fatalities per 100,000 employed for all employees. This appears to be due in part to the fact that Hispanic employees are disproportionately employed in higher-risk occupations, such as construction and manufacturing, where proper training is essential to a safe workplace. For example, the construction industry accounts for approximately 7 percent of all employment, but approximately 20 percent of workplace fatalities. Hispanic employees comprise almost 15 percent of the construction workforce, a percentage somewhat above their representation in the overall workforce.

Many standards promulgated by OSHA explicitly require an employer to train employees in the safety and health aspects of their jobs. OSHA considers training to be an essential part of every employers safety and health program for protecting employees from injuries and illnesses. An effective program of safety and health training, communicating information in a manner that employees are capable of understanding, can provide numerous benefits, including fewer injuries and illnesses, better worker morale, and lower insurance premiums.

To help employers, employees, safety and health professionals, training directors, and others to locate relevant OSHA training provisions, the Agency has excerpted and collected its training-related requirements in OSHA publication #2254, "Training Requirements in OSHA Standards and Training Guidelines" (also available as a 720 KB PDF). This publication can serve as a guideline to employers as they develop safety and health training programs for their Spanish-speaking employees. The complete list of OSHA standards, and a searchable database of OSHAs interpretations of those standards, is available online on OSHAs Laws, Regulations and Interpretations Web page. In addition, the Agency issued the "OSHA Training Standards Policy Statement" on April 28, 2010, which reiterates OSHA's policy that employee training required by OSHA standards must be presented in a manner that employees can understand.

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