Ladder Safety for the Vulnerable

Ladder Safety for the Vulnerable

Safety+Health had an interesting article about ladder safety for vulnerable populations, and we wanted to talk about it here. Results from a study conducted by Safety Science showed that immigrant workers working for small companies are not getting proper ladder safety training, especially when compared to employees working for larger companies. Here were some of the findings:

  • Just 5.9 percent of immigrant workers at small companies received 11 or more hours of initial safety training – 38.2 percent received three to 10 hours and 55.9 percent received two hours or less. For larger companies, those figures were 20 percent, 48.5 percent and 31.5 percent, respectively.
  • 61.8 percent of immigrant workers at small companies received two or less hours of monthly training, compared with 42.9 percent at larger companies.
  • Supervisors spoke the same language as immigrant workers at 37.5 percent of small companies, compared with 68.9 percent of larger companies.

So, how do we fix this issue? One of the main problems seems to be a language barrier. Most immigrant workers speak Spanish, so find a bilingual worker who can help you. In your training, incorporate visual aids to make sure the points get across. Make sure you have regular training to help with repetitive safety reminders. If you have workers who speak a language besides Spanish, make sure to get a translator to help.

All employers have a duty to treat their employees fairly and without bias. Acts like decreasing training sessions for immigrants and non-native English speakers may seem like a small thing, but it can lead to larger issues that can put people's lives at risk. Initially, it may seem like a hassle to hire a translator, but the benefits outweigh any inconvenience. Everyone's life is important. Everyone's safety is important. Help your immigrant workers get home to their families safely by finding ways to make sure they get quality ladder safety training.

If you'd like to participate in a personalized ladder safety demonstration, contact Little Giant Ladder Systems. We'd be happy to help train your team!