This is a sensitive and confusing subject for many people, but in light of ramped-up immigration enforcement and random raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), we must address this issue. On April 17, 2008, 311 undocumented workers were taken into custody by ICE from five different Pilgrim’s Pride plants in Texas, West Virginia, Florida, Arkansas and Tennessee.
The current shakedown in the construction industry allows for two very important things to happen that are to the benefit of both the organization and the workers. It allows companies to refocus on training their workforce for the long term and it helps clean up the subcontractor industry.
Company leaders consistently tell me that their No. 1 priority is safety. For the most part, I believe this is the case. This being said, the reality is that our safety talks to Latinos very frequently fall short of the level of importance and priority we affirm. I would like to help you with your safety talks with Latinos. I am speaking specifically here about the presentation of the actual safety talks. There are three key words that will point the way as it relates to delivering information on the subject of safety. They are clear, consistent and compelling.
In last month’s article, “Safety Training That Works with Latinos,” we set a base of understanding. We learned what training is and what it does, and we learned some important factors to consider when teach-ing safety to Latino laborers.
In this article, I want to move into more specifics regarding safety training with Latinos. There are three very specific concepts you must understand and implement if you are to have high levels of success in training safety with Latino employees.
Let’s face it; more Latinos are getting hurt on the job than is necessary or appropriate. I have frequently cited an Associated Press study documenting that for the Latino worker, safety accident rates are four times that of Anglos. (Some studies have put the ratio as high as 8:1.) Many companies struggle with the actual development and implementation of a safety program, while others struggle with the actual nuts and bolts of teaching safety to people from another culture.