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| Things to Think About |

A posting came to us years ago from ASTD's "Buzz". The message is relevant years later!

Note the relationship between safety and literacy, something the akDLN has stressed in workplace training for businesses everywhere:

| The Writing on the Wall |
CMA Management (11/10) P. 36 Cooper, John

Literary skills are a vital component of a safe workplace, as workers are better able to follow safety rules and respond to emergencies when they have proficient reading and writing skills. Establishing literacy programs in the workplace, then, can help reduce accidents and therefore reduce costs. In the Conference Board's new report "What You Don't Know Can Hurt You: Literacy's Impact on Workplace Health and Safety," author Alison Campbell examines workplace literacy programs and their impact on safety. Many employers are not even aware of how low their workers' literacy levels are, with many unable to do something as simple as reading a safety manual. If they are insufficiently aware of the problem, they are unlikely to invest in the appropriate training to fix it, Campbell says. But accidents caused by low literacy represent a real cost to companies that can be reduced by adding training, she says. At De Beers Canada, for example, where a large number of workers are from Aboriginal communities, a literacy program was launched for both the company and the community. It includes a learning center that is open seven days a week and staffed by instructors committed to literacy and adult learning. There are always five or more workers involved in a literacy program at any time, the company says, and it also offers equal paid time off for learning opportunities elsewhere. There is much more awareness of health and safety in the workplace thanks to the literacy program, company officials say, and they are working with other companies to implement similar programs.