Study shows workers endangered by failure to understand terminology

Construction workers in the US are in constant danger because many of them do not understand certain safety terms, according to a new study.

Professors at Purdue University in Indiana looked at terms used in the 10-hour safety training sessions mandated by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Researchers discovered that many of the trainees did not understand a significant proportion of the terminology and acronyms presented during the sessions.

Associate professor James McGlothlin and assistant professor Bryan Hubbard said that new construction workers and some Hispanic workers were especially at risk.

Another study, led by McGlothin, focused solely on Hispanic construction workers and found that fewer than 20% understood any of the terms used in the OSHA training. Some terms were understood by just 3%.

The professors have recommended the use of visuals in training in order to combat the problem, with books where every construction-specific word is accompanied by a picture.