For immigrant workers, communication challenges can be directly related to language barriers. According to Statistics Canada figures, 16 per cent of immigrant workers use languages other than English and French at work. Of the 611,400 immigrants who used languages other than English or French at work, about 17 per cent used only non-official languages and made no regular use of the official ones. Another 26 per cent used non-official languages most of the time. Added to these are the upwards of 100,000 migrants work on Ontario farms, and many more migrants earning their living in jobs ranging from cleaning hotel rooms to trades in the construction sector.
Here in Ontario, employers are required to post a copy of the Act and any explanatory material prepared by the Ministry of Labour, in both English and the majority language of the workplace, outlining the rights and duties of workers.
Worker Rights in Translation
The WHSC has translated into 16 different languages a message explaining basic worker health and safety rights. Be sure to download these and share them with your co-workers and in your community.
WHSC Training in Translation
The WHSC also continues to offer a range of multilingual training and information resources. For instance, WHMIS training is available in Punjabi, Italian, Cantonese, French and Portuguese. With our extensive network of instructors, it's also often possible to secure an instructor to deliver any WHSC training program to participants in their own language. The WHSC also assists agricultural support centres in their efforts to provide health and safety information to migrant workers in their native tongue.