According to July 2017 US Census data, the people of Hispanic origin are the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. With the growing importance of the Hispanic population in mind, Rick Means, Washington Retail’s Safety Specialist, secured our 5th L&I Safety and Health Investment Program grant to convert the 24 SAFEME workplace safety training lessons into Spanish.
We partnered with the Seattle Latino Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce last week to conduct a usability test with Spanish-speaking workers and supervisors to test these newly-converted technology-based tools. We are thankful that Marcos Wanless, the President and Founder of the Seattle Latino Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, was effective in recruiting ideal participants to offer improvement ideas.
Rose Gundersen, our Vice President of Operations and Retail Services, initiated this critical phase and collaboration with members from the Hispanic community to ensure cultural relevancy. Gundersen recognizes that gaps often exist between translation and actual workers’ needs because of her past work experience at Labor and Industries and her personal familiarity with the unique needs of foreign-born populations.
The usability test participants offered many excellent and practical suggestions on choice of words as well as culturally-appropriate graphics and formatting to increase the effectiveness of the SAFEME Spanish tools. Washington Retail will incorporate these suggestions into the SAFEME Spanish technology-based workplace safety training tools. We anticipate that these tools will be available for public use around January 2020.