It takes a certain kind of people to do construction work, it’s not only about being strong, and able to work with their hands; it’s about working as a team and overall, listening and following instructions.
Which can be quite difficult to do when you’re in a strange land where people talk a strange language you are not familiar with and therefore makes it more difficult to do what you do best without putting your life at risk.
In fact, according to 7,000 medical records from construction workers, Hispanics are pretty much 30% more likely to develop medical conditions due to work-related injuries, which is alarming due to the fact that their numbers nearly make 3 million employees on site, which amounts to a 30% of non-management jobs.
Which is why Spanish as an effective communication tool, more often than not plays a pivotal role in safety matters; mainly because employees who are native Spanish speakers naturally tend to carry this aspect of their lives in all of their activities, making their reactions to instructions given in their language way faster, more efficient and easier to follow.
As for safety area, one of the most cited reasons for fatalities and injuries on the construction sites by Hispanic workers, is lack of communication, which has made the traditional training techniques almost inefficient due to the absence of a common language between employers and employees, especially when taking into consideration that a big number of the Hispanic construction workers have a lower education level and are quite unfamiliar with some American traditions and culture which is reflected in the language
As an added bonus, besides improving communication and reducing risks of accidents on the field, mastering Spanish as an engineer or manager would also help you reduce workers compensation costs due to the reduction on incidents, which more often than not represents an extra cost to the company due to medical bills and leaves of absence; speaking to your construction workers in Spanish could also level your safety programs up to world-class since Spanish speaking employees could identify and prevent construction hazards more easily; Spanish could also augment the company’s culture while doing away with employment shortage, for a bilingual including work environment, would certainly attract more skilled Hispanic worker while also boosting up morale.
And what’s best is that nowadays there are many ways of learning Spanish, be it at a language school, with a private instructor, or online spanish lessons for those who don’t dispose of a lot of time to study other languages, as a matter of fact a good way to learn Spanish are online Spanish classes with a professional tutor.