Construction tailored English classes should be an essential employer provided benefit- a field dominated by those who speak English as a second language. In 2019 the number of immigrant workers in construction approached 2.8 million in the United States alone, accounting for 24% of the construction workforce, the highest level ever recorded by the American Community Survey (ACS). Alarmingly, more than 40% of workers reported a language gap, and 54% predicted their language gap would pose a greater challenge down the road. Given such high numbers of non-English or Limited English Proficient (LEP) workers and the inherent nature of construction work, language gaps can pose huge risks and often cause permanent damage.
Whether it is building a wall on private property or operating heavy machinery on a commercial job, can construction companies and managers afford NOT to provide language training for construction workers while knowing the risks of that choice? Here are 2 ways English classes online can mitigate the biggest risks associated with staff who have minimal English training:
1. Reduce Safety Hazards With Online English Classes
The biggest concern for construction managers is keeping their workers safe in a perpetually hazardous working environment. This is true for native English speakers and immigrant workers alike. It is a truly unfortunate reality, but there are some companies that don't value jobsite safety as much as they claim. According to the National Safety Council estimates,the cost of work injuries per worker in 2017 was $1,100. The cost per injury requiring medical consultation/attention was $39,000, while the cost per fatality was a staggering $1,150,000. As of January 2019, the maximum penalty amount per willful or repeat violation was $132,598 per violation. While it is impossible to determine how many of those accidents resulted from immigrant workers having low English comprehension- when the field is lead by immigrant workers and 50% of that population report a lack of English as a challenge in an already dangerous line of work- can construction managers really afford to ignore the more-than-likely correlation? Can they afford NOT to provide live English classes online with live teachers?
2. Learn English Online to Ramp Up Productivity
Most construction managers delegate work to assistants, who pass on instructions to everyone else. When tasks are finally given to non-English speaking workers- who rely on interpretation from multi-lingual coworkers- they may need additional time to derive meaning. Directions may be further misunderstood if the delegator has a thick accent or speaks too quickly. If workers are expected to complete a task but are not given instructions in a clear manner, errors are made which require time to correct the mistake and pushing back the deadline. When workers are set up for success everything becomes easier and providing English classes for companies is a logical solution.
Construction work is one of the most physically demanding occupations. Native English speakers are prone to workplace accidents just as much as immigrant workers. Mitigating risk is one of the biggest hurdles for construction companies to provide a safe workplace environment and providing corporate English classes could be a logical solution to benefit everyone. Offered in Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Haitian Creole and Vietnamese, our highly engaging In-Person English classes and interactive English classes online with live native-speaking teachers are easy to access from wherever you are. We offer Real-Time Small Group and Private Lessons. Take our free Online ESL Placement Test or register for one of our upcoming online English Language courses.
For more information contact our Language Training Department:
Phone: (617) 731-3700