This article originally appeared on WVTM13.com.
Oscar Garcia said an eye-opening report on Latino construction workers led him to create a new app that breaks down language barriers on job sites and raises health and safety awareness. Learn more in the video above.
“I started to learn about OSHA, and all about the injuries and the deaths, and all these things, and how all of those injuries have risen with Latin Americans.
A 2019 report by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations found 1,088 Latino workers died on the job. The startling statistics struck a chord with Garcia and led him to launch the Need2Say app that same year. The app not only helps Latin American workers learn essential, specialized terms in English but teaches American workers the same terms in Spanish.
“My dad, he worked here in the U.S. for about 25 years and throughout all of that time, he was never able to learn English,” Garcia said. “And he had many injuries.”
The app is helping companies close the cultural barriers on job sites by improving crucial communications between workers.
Need2Say offers language lessons on a variety of important topics including Occupational Safety and Health Administration essentials and COVID-19 protocols. Each term features a video of a native speaker sounding out each word. Garcia said most of the current users are English speakers trying to learn Spanish.
“That changes everything for me, because it means that they care about me,” Garcia said.
Garcia said he is currently working with three central Alabama-based companies including Hoar Construction, BL Harbert International and Brose Tuscaloosa. He hopes to collaborate with more companies in the future.
“Once you communicate, everything starts to change,” Garcia said.
Visit https://www.need2say.com to learn more.