According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, 23 million Latinos over the age of 16 were employed in 2014 (BLS, 2015-1). In the manufacturing industry, there are more than 2.5 million Latino workers (BLS, 2015-2). According to the Latino Labor Force in the Recovery Report (DOL, 2015), the Latinos employed are less likely to have a college degree than their Caucasian or African-American counterparts, which is why companies need to focus their training programs on the Latino population.

As a Safety Manager for a manufacturing industry in Miami, Florida, more than 95% of our workers are from Latin America and more than 90% speak Spanish only. The Latino culture is a huge risk factor since many Latinos do not perceive certain risk situations and when they perceive it, then do not report them. For this reason, managers need to be in regular contact with employees in order to build rapport and emphasize the importance of reporting safety hazards. On the other hand, basic concepts, like using nitrile gloves to help a co-worker after workplace injury (e.g., laceration), is not a common practice.

In the manufacturing industry, the orientation process should include an overview of the basic safety elements for all employees, including Latino workers. This paper will present an overview of the basic safety elements that are recommended for the orientation process.


This paper will present 10 key elements essentials for the Safety Orientation with Latino workers in the manufacturing industry. These elements are Knowing the Facility, 5S's, Personal Protection Equipment, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Emergencies, Hazard Communications, Lockout/Tagout, Disposal and Recycling of Materials, Other Safety Elements, and Importance of Reporting.

1. Knowing the facility

A floor map of the company indicates not only the location of the departments, but also the location of the emergency routes and exits, assembly points, eye wash stations, first aid stations, fire extinguishers, safety data sheets, chemical storage, and disposal of materials should be instructed to new employees.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the Hispanic population in Miami represents 70% of the total population (DOC, 2015) and consequently, the population working in the manufacturing industries is majorly Hispanic. Since most employees speak Spanish only, understanding safety signs could be a challenge. There are two options to this dilemma, such as supplying bilingual signs or training the employees to understand the English safety signs.

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