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Preventing falls, silica exposure with Latino construction workers.

Roelofs-C; Grullón-M; Gagliardi-M
Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, R01-OH-008750, 2013 Aug; :1-71
"Preventing Falls, Silica Exposure with Latino Construction Workers," (5 R01 OH008750 FY07-13) was a community-based participatory research project that became known as "Proteccion en Construccion: The Lawrence Latino Safety Partnership." Based in an historic Latino-majority city in northeastern Massachusetts, the partnership conducted research to understand and address the disproportionate rate of injuries and illnesses experienced by Hispanic construction workers. Focus groups, surveys and a community consultation process produced findings that resulted in the Hispanic Safety Climate Model for construction workers. This model contained the most critical factors of the work environment that were contributing to poor conditions and that might be modified to reduce exposures to hazards, and, thereby reduce injuries and illnesses. These factors include training, equipment, social support from co-workers and supervisors, non-retaliation from hazard reporting and injuries, roles and responsibilities for safety, and productivity versus safety. Our assessment findings also confirmed that supervisors were the most important target for training given their role on worksites. We developed a five-hour supervisor training intervention called "Leaders in Safe Construction." Over 100 supervisors and contractors attended the training (taught in English and Spanish) which focused on improving supervisor's knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to improve the critical safety climate factors. Pre- and post and six month follow-up survey results showed significant improvement in knowledge, capacity and willingness to act to improve safety planning, compliance with regulations, and communication with a multilingual workforce. The Leaders in Safe Construction training was approved for Massachusetts construction supervisor license continuing education requirements and ten multilingual trainers were trained to continue to provide the training through two of our partners to meet the demand for education credits in the target population. In addition to building and sustaining the partnership, and conducting assessment and intervention research activities, the project engaged in many bilingual outreach and engagement efforts including community conversations or "charlas" with government agency personnel, a five-part column on fall prevention in a Spanish-language newspaper, hosting OSHA on Spanish-language radio talk shows, a local fall prevention equipment catalog distributed to local city and towns building permits offices, and a public health brochure for City of Lawrence aimed at contractors and homeowners on recognizing and preventing hazards in residential construction. Our project demonstrated that a targeted, relevant and feasible supervisor training intervention has the potential to improve safety climate on residential construction sites and, thereby, reduce injuries. However, such a program needs the incentive of government requirements for training and OSHA enforcement of existing regulations in order to achieve this important goal on a widespread basis.
Sociological-factors; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Morbidity-rates; Mortality-rates; Workers; Humans; Men; Women; Fall-protection; Silica-dusts
Cora Roelofs, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 1 University Ave. K200, Lowell, MA 01854
7631-86-9; 14808-60-7
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Final Grant Report
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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University of Massachusetts Lowell