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Analysis of work-related safety and health hazards of unrepresented workers in the iron working industry.

Bratcher B; Ruttenberg R; Obando M
Silver Spring, MD: Center to Protect Workers' Rights, 2010 Feb; :1-38
In 2008, CPWR awarded a research grant to the Iron Workers Regional District Council and Iron Workers Local 846 to analyze work-related safety and health hazards of unrepresented workers in the iron working industry. A survey of 69 questions was developed with the help of consultants at Ruth Ruttenberg and Associates, Inc. It was translated into Spanish and interviewers were trained in survey techniques and IRB principles. By year's end 2009, interviews were completed with 87 Spanish-speaking iron workers employed by 17 different companies in the west and southwest. Students from Southern Methodist University assisted in conducting interviews in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. This report summarizes these in-depth interviews and the poor working conditions in which many of them work. The research focuses on 7 main areas: demographics of the study group, working conditions, safety and health hazards and practices on the job, safety and health awareness and concerns about work, benefits, workers' rights and training, and increases in awareness and hazard identification. All workers thought their jobs were dangerous and all, but one, were afraid of getting hurt on the job. They complained of lack of PPE and poorly constructed scaffolds. Many workers had problems accessing drinking water and many had no rest or lunch breaks. Few workers had received safety and health training, but all wanted it. Nearly all workers felt that a union would improve their working conditions. There was a clear appreciation among these Spanish-speaking iron workers for the respect and concern shown to them by the iron workers union.
Construction; Construction-workers; Iron-workers; Iron-working-industry; Racial-factors; Work-operations; Work-practices; Worker-health; Health-hazards; Health-surveys; Questionnaires; Safety-research
Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, CPWR, Suite 1000, 8484 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910
Publication Date
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Funding Type
Construction; Cooperative Agreement
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Source Name
Analysis of Work-Related Safety and Health Hazards of Unrepresented Workers in the Iron Working Industry
Performing Organization
CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, Maryland
Page last reviewed: March 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division