Don’t Neglect Native-Language Safety Training

Employees on construction sites must be ready to handle a wide range of operating conditions, work with diverse equipment and face a variety of risks. Effective training becomes essential, but it is easy to overlook the need to consider individuals who are not native English speakers when developing training programs. People of Latino heritage will make up approximately 19 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor found, and OSHA standards include provisions for this demographic. 

According to the DOL, OSHA strongly encourages that employers provide training materials, occupational rights handbooks and similar content in an employee’s native language to ensure safety best practices are maintained on a consistent basis.

Training in multiple languages
The DOL explained that individuals can be put at unnecessary risk if the safety materials and similar work documentation made available to employees is not provided in their native language. Construction companies must ensure they do not overlook non-native-English speakers and provide all materials in the native language of employees to ensure maximum comprehension and retention.

Living up to OSHA standards is only part of the issue here. In practice, providing training materials in employees’ native languages is critical because individuals who understand English, but are not native-English speakers, could misinterpret instructions or fail to completely understand the context provided within training materials. 

The advantage of eLearning
Partnering with an eLearning provider can ease some of the language barriers facing construction companies. Instead of having to hire an interpreter or needing all of your internal materials translated into multiple languages, online courses can provide the information your workers need in whichever language they require. Implementing an eLearning strategy from a provider that offers materials in multiple languages ensures that your employees get access to the materials they need in the best language for them.

Language barriers are a complex matter. The precise meaning of phrases and the full information they provide is made up of the literal definition of words and the associations we have for those words. A native speaker has a lifetime to become accustomed to these nuances. Offering materials to employees in their native language is key as safety is a priority on construction sites.

For more information about native-language safety training, preview RedVector’s OSHA 10 Spanish Course.

RedVector’s OSHA 10 Spanish Course


Course Author Spotlight: Mark DiNardo

RedVector author Mark Dinardo, CSP, has been a Safety Professional for 16 years, working the last 11 years with the Environmental Health and Safety Department at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) since 2010. Now, as a Hazardous Material and Environmental Compliance Specialist, his responsibilities include oversight of high hazard chemical laboratories, chemical risk assessments, chemical spill response, fuel storage tank inspections and safety training.

RedVector author Mark Dinardo

Mark Dinardo, RedVector author

Prior to his work in the safety field, Mark was a chemist in an inorganic industrial laboratory in which he conducted bench scale and pilot studies of industrial wastewater systems. Areas of expertise include chemical safety, spill response and safety training. He also is a Class A/B/C Tank Operator in the state of Pennsylvania. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.

Preview Safety Training Courses authored by Mark DiNardo, including Oil Spill Responses in Facilities, R&D Chemical Hygiene and R&D Waste Management.

Safety Training Courses authored by Mark DiNardo
Safety Training Courses authored by Mark DiNardo

Machine Reliability about More than Maintenance

Keeping equipment up and running on a day-to-day basis to support productivity requires careful planning. You must ensure that your maintenance professionals have time to perform work on machines before failure events occur and respond quickly in the event of an emergency. As such, it’s understandable that manufacturers tend to focus almost exclusively on maintenance when it comes to improving machine reliability. However, maintenance is not the only issue impacting reliability, and organizations must consider alternative factors that affect uptime.

This is not to say that maintenance does not play an instrumental role in reliability. Instead, a ReliabilityWeb report explained many problems that end up blamed on maintenance are, in reality, tied to other organizational problems.

Underlying issues that fuel reliability issues

According to the news source, instability as an organization is among the greatest barriers to reliability. Instability often leads to environments where machines are changed and modified without documentation, engineers and vendors tend to ignore inherent weaknesses in equipment or a formalized change process hasn’t been put in place. These problems all lead to less predictability within production environments and can add unnecessary complexity to maintenance operations. The report identified some other underlying problems that have an adverse impact on reliability, including:

  • Operational inconsistency that leads to frequent startups, changeovers and shutdowns, having an adverse impact on everyday output creating potential losses.
  • Sales and marketing promises that create a backlog for production workers, limiting their ability to maintain day-to-day operations and impacting reliable production.
  • Failure to create and establish consistent processes and procedures to ensure operations remain in line with standards and best practices.

All told, the report said that maintenance is only responsible for 17 percent of reliability problems, with production (23 percent), engineering (22 percent) and marketing and sales (15 percent) all being major contributors to reliability issues.

Ensuring operational consistency

Cohesion across the entire organization is essential in improving reliability, and effective industrial training positions your staff to gain a complete picture of how their actions impact reliability.

For more information about Multi-Craft Training view RedVector’s curriculum

RedVector Multi-Craft Online Training



Since significant resources are being put into corporate training, businesses must make sure they are getting value back. In this infographic, learn how to identify the right measurements for assessing training value (based on your own key goals), and discover a way to build and use your own Learning and Development ROI Calculator.

Redvector-Measuring the Value of learning and Development Programs

For more information about how RedVector online training can save you time and money, see our ROI overview.

In Recent Study, Engineering Firms Call RedVector Key for “Recruitment, Training and Retention”

In a report conducted by CSE (Consulting-Specifying Engineer) Magazine, engineering leaders with experience in attracting and developing new talent share insights about different training programs (including RedVector training), as well as formal and informal mentoring programs for new talent.

Read more from Douglas Lacy of WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff Co. and David Harris of Stanley Consultants about how they’ve improved professional development for their young engineers while increasing their value to the company.

CSE: What training programs does your firm have for younger staff and new hires?

Lacy: “WSP + ccrd uses a combination of online training and webinars through our corporate intranet and one-on-one mentoring to train new hires. Depending on the candidate’s educational background, additional external training resources (both online and seminars/classes) may also be used. We augment online training by hosting in-house monthly technical roundtables and presentations that involve both younger and more experienced staff. Topics are wide-ranging and include a healthy dose of Q&A and lessons-learned forums.”

CSE: If your firm has a training program, what tools do you use?

Lacy: “As part of the WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff family, we have access to a wide variety of online content in our online university and learning portal. In addition, staff may elect to participate in a shared learning program hosted by third-party vendors, such as RedVector, for additional training that may not be available internally. Much of the day-to-day training still occurs in a one-on-one setting, which continues the engineering profession’s long tradition of a mentor-mentee relationship to help advance our EITs to become professional engineers. Gaining valuable knowledge in a real-world project setting with the guidance of experienced professionals is the best way to transfer situational decision-making skills.”

Harris: “Because everyone learns differently, we offer a wide range of tools within Stanley Consultants University. Online training courses are available through SkillSoft, RedVector, and HR Classroom. Seminars are offered onsite, offsite, and online. Through an informal mentoring program, our employees receive on-the-job training, working alongside seasoned engineers on projects.”

CSE: What areas are you finding that young professionals and recent hires could use help with training and development?

Harris: “In general, I see two areas where they could use further development. Our young professionals come to us very well-grounded in the technical fundamentals. What they often lack is first-hand experience putting these fundamentals into practice in a real-world environment. As soon as possible, we assign our new engineers to project teams so they can see the real-world application of what they learned in college. They are also often lacking in the communication skills needed in a professional environment. Internship experience is very beneficial in both of these areas.”

Learn more about RedVector’s Professional Development Online Training Library for career development.

RedVector’s Professional Development Online Training Library



RedVector Author Rumanda Young Wins Presidential GreenGov Award

RedVector Author Rumanda Young is headed to the White House! Dr. Young will receive the Presidential GreenGov award, which celebrates extraordinary achievement in the pursuit of President Obama’s Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance. The GreenGov Presidential Awards honor Federal civilian and military personnel, agency teams, agency projects and facilities, and agency programs that exemplify the charge to lead by example towards a clean energy economy.

RedVector Author Rumanda Young

RedVector Author, Rumanda Young

Dr. Young is a Registered Landscape Architect (RLA) in the state of Texas and a Certified Planner (AICP).  She holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture (BLA) from the University of Arkansas, a master’s degree in city and regional planning (MCRP) with environmental planning emphasis from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a Ph.D. in urban planning and public policy. Dr. Young also spent time abroad in Cheltenham, England at the University of Gloucestershire focusing on sustainable development practices, environmental planning, and resource management.

Landscape Architectural experience ranges from preparation of detail site design plans, inventory and analysis documents, park, recreation and open space master plans, city-wide comprehensive plans, interpretive prospectus documents, construction document preparation, and preparation of grant applications and rezoning applications for cities throughout Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

Dr. Young currently works as a Military Master Planner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Planning, Environmental, and Regulatory Branch. Project Management experience ranges from installation design guides to campus master plans. Projects also focus on the impacts of development on human health and the environment, and improvements through better siting, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of military projects.

Dr. Young is also an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University, Lyle School of Engineering.

Preview training courses authored by Rumanda Young.

training courses authored by Rumanda Young

Considering the Importance of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) System Optimization

Uninterruptible power supplies must be maintained at peak efficiency because of the role they play in preventing outages. On the whole, UPS solutions are built to perform consistently, but those gains also come with a cost. As such, it is vital that organizations optimize the UPS configuration in order to keep operating expenses down and ensure optimal performance when an outage does occur. Key issues that must be considered include:

  • Maintaining power quality: Gradual power loss comes into play as UPS solutions are used for various functions and energy is transported to various destinations within a facility. Optimizing power workloads to bypass losses while still ensuring highly responsive operations when a critical outage does take place maximizes the value of a UPS.
  • Ensuring rapid responses: Having a UPS step in to prevent an outage in critical equipment hinges on effective energy management to allow for a rapid switch over in the event of an emergency. This can be accomplished through specific operational management strategies that can be put into place within a UPS configuration.
  • Establishing modes of operation: UPS systems can be configured to operate in a variety of different modes depending on the specific use case you need to support at any given time. Being able to configure these modes based on your operational requirements allows you to find the optimal balance between efficiency, responsiveness and power quality.

UPS technologies can play a critical role in protecting critical equipment and avoiding the losses associated with downtime events. Optimizing these systems ensures they run at peak efficiency, minimizing the total cost of ownership associated with keeping the solution running. RedVector offers course materials that can help your technicians understand the details of UPS configuration and ensure they are prepared to optimize your setup. Check out this video for more details.

Uninterruptible Power Supply Training

RedVector Uninterruptible Power Supply Training


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