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AAOHN J. 2001 Jan;49(1):21-6.

Limited English proficiency workers. Health and safety education.

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  • 1Health Promotion & Risk Reduction Programs, School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


1. As the population of adults with limited English proficiency plays an increasingly important role in the United States workplaces, there has been a growing recognition that literacy and limited English skills affect health and safety training programs. 2. Several important principles can be used as the underlying framework to guide teaching workers with limited English proficiency: clear and vivid way of teaching; contextual curriculum based on work; using various teaching methods; and staff development. 3. Two feasible strategies were proposed to improve current situation in teaching health and safety to workers with limited English proficiency in one company: integrating safety and health education with ongoing in-house ESL instruction and developing a multilingual video program. 4. Successful development and implementation of proposed programs requires upper management support, workers' awareness and active participation, collaborative teamwork, a well structured action plan, testing of pilot program, and evaluation.

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