HomeHome SearchSearch MenuMenu Our productsOur products

Display these seven safety signs to ensure your non-English speaking employees understand theirhealth and safety training

by , 24 January 2013
In New Zealand, a workplace literacy expert is calling on the country's Department of Labour to do more to ensure that health and safety training is adequate. Like South Africa, New Zealand has a large amount of workers who don't speak English as their first language. That's why you need to make sure your employees actually understand the health and safety training they receive. An easy way to do this is to use safety signs around your workplace, and ensure these signs form part of your health and safety training induction programme!

The CEO of adult literacy support service Workbase, Katherine Percy, says that workplace health and safety training is often ineffective because around half of New Zealand's workforce has literacy and/or numeracy gaps. These affect their ability to manage the more complex demands of health and safety in the workplace, reports the NewsTalkZB website.
 
'Literacy issues make it difficult to reduce workplace accidents because people often don't fully understand the signs and labels, material safety data sheets, or the health and safety training they receive and are therefore unable to put that knowledge to use,' says Percy on the Voxy website.
 
Percy notes that the changing nature of New Zealand's workforce means that more employees may not have English as a first language. 
 
This is similar to the situation in South Africa.
 
Your employees don't all speak English as a first language, so use other ways to ensure they understand health and safety training
While English is the international language of business, there're ten other official languages spoken in South Africa. 
 
So presenting a talk about health and safety issues in English, and following up with printed leaflets – again in English– isn't going to get your message across to every employee. 
 
An easy way to make sure your employees understand their health and safety training is to make use of safety signs.
 
There are seven types of safety signs that your business can display to prevent accidents, according to the Health and Safety Bulletin
 
Seven types of safety signs to include in your health and safety training
 
1. Prohibition signs
These safety signs mean that an action or activity is not allowed, like the 'no smoking' sign.
 
2. Mandatory signs
These safety signs indicate that an instruction must be carried out, like showing a pair of safety goggles to show goggles must be worn in this area at all times.
 
3. Restriction signs
These safety signs place a numerical or other defined limit on an activity or use of facility.
 
4. Warning signs
These safety signs warn of a hazard or hazardous condition that isn't likely to be life threatening, such as a slippery floor.
 
5. Danger signs
These safety signs warn about a hazard that's likely to be life threatening, like in a high voltage area.
 
6. General information signs
These safety signsindicate the location of, or direction to, emergency related facilities such as exits or first aid equipment. 
 
7. Fire signs
These safety signs will help employees locate fire extinguishers and fire-fighting equipment.
 
Remember to include these safety signs in your health and safety induction training as different literacy levels and cultures could interpret these messages differently.
 
Get the Health and Safety Advisor today, and comply with your legal obligations for safety signs 
 
 
 
 


Related articles




Related articles



Related Products



Comments
0 comments


Recommended for You 

  Quick Tax Solutions for Busy Taxpayers – 35 tax answers at a glance



Here are all the most interesting, thought-provoking and common tax questions
asked by our subscribers over the last tax year – everything from A to Z!

To download Quick Tax Solutions for Busy Taxpayers – 35 tax answers at a glance click here now >>>
  Employees always sick? How to stop it today



Make sure you develop a leave policy to regulate sick leave in your company.

BONUS! You'll find an example of the leave policy and procedure in this report.

To download Employees always sick? How to stop it today click here now >>>
  Absenteeism: Little known ways to reduce absenteeism



This FREE e-report will tell you how you can reduce absenteeism in your workplace while avoiding the CCMA and without infringing your employees' labour rights.

To download Absenteeism: Little known ways to reduce absenteeism click here now >>>
  7 Health & safety strategies to save you thousands



Don't let a health and safety incident cost you one more cent. Implement these seven
strategies in your company today.

To download 7 Health & safety strategies to save you thousands click here now >>>