Thursday, July 28, 2005

Hispanic Workers Shun Safety Training

Gee, I wonder why:

Hispanics shun safety class

State is battling increasing work injuries and deaths within group

By Deborah Bulkeley
Deseret Morning News

Work-related injuries and deaths among Hispanic workers are on the rise, according to federal statistics, while that statistic is falling for the general working population.

But educating Spanish speaking workers about on-the-job safety is proving to be a difficult task.

Seriously, read the article. It provides a perfect example of why "If you build it, they will come," doesn't work without a sophisticated understanding of your audience. I was on the committee at OSHA that decided who would receive training grants. Knowing from my years at AFSCME how difficult it is to attract trainees -- even when you have a "captive" audience -- I was always amazed and disappointed to read grant applications that put enormous effort into developing a training program and writing training materials, but almost no thought into marketing the program, particularly when they were attempting to reach out to workers from a different culture, who may be working several different jobs and whose employers don't really care about safety.