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NIOSH Program Portfolio



NORA Construction Sector Strategic Goals

92700BT - Priority Pops: Coordination Project

Start Date: 3/1/2005
End Date: 9/30/2010

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Sherry Baron
Phone: 513-458-7159
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: DSHEFS
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goal Addressed

Secondary Goal Addressed

Attributed to Construction

Project Description

Short Summary

This is the coordinating project for the NORA Priority Populations program on Decreasing Barriers to Safety and Health for low income, minority, immigrant and or older workers. It provides for the integration of core quantitative and qualitative data elements across the sub projects. It will also generate additional surveillance data using existing data sources. The project will improve coordination and dissemination of project outcomes.


This project is the coordination project for a NORA research program on Preventing Barriers to Occupational Safety and Health in Priority Populations, including low income, minority, immigrant and/or older workers. This project will provide the coordination and integration of quantitative and qualitative data collected across four research projects. It will examine the role of multilevel factors in creating barriers to effective safety and health programs including 1) individual level factors such as language, literacy, previous knowledge and experience regarding occupational safety and health, 2) workplace level factors including provision of tools and training, management commitment to safety and health, supervisor and coworker social support; and 3) societal level factors such as discrimination, policies regarding undocumented immigrants and the overall economic prospects that allow workers to find alternative employment. The project will also analyze a variety of existing surveillance data sources to better describe the work and health of priority working populations. Finally, the project will improve coordination and dissemination of project outcomes as well as consultation with outside experts, promotion of improved training on research methodology for priority populations among internal NIOSH staff and dissemination of finding through national workshops and NIOSH and peer reviewed publications.

Quantitative data collection: A core questionnaire was developed which will be utilized in all four of the research projects. This questionnaire includes both items from the existing NIOSH Quality of Worklife (QWL) questionnaire as well as new items. An analysis of the QWL data from the 2002 and 2004 GSS was conducted and based on those results, the project identified a small number of items that would capture some of the most important work characteristics (e.g., resource adequacy, safety climate, job control). Some constructs proposed as part of the project (i.e., risk perception, community resources) do not have existing measures. The coordinating project reviewed relevant literature and composed several items. The core questionnaire was translated into Spanish and Chinese. The translated questionnaire items were cognitively tested on 40 workers (20 Spanish, 10 Chinese and 10 English).

Qualitative data collection approach: The project has developed a visual devise (i.e., stick figures with speech bubbles) to solicit workers’ perceptions of employer/worker

relationships. This has been successfully used in focus group interviews with 2 of the four projects with Spanish English and Cantonese speaking low-income workers. The rich data collected via this approach has been analyzed and used to better understand issues of risk perception among these workers. The material will provide the basis for construction of the risk perception item on the core questionnaire.

In order to explore other existing health data bases to collect additional information about the role of occupation in health disparities the project identified the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis which is a large prospective study of subclinical atherosclerosis and includes large proportions of Hispanic, Asian and African American participants. A project proposal was written and funded. Additional data sets were identified to further explore perceptions of discrimination and racism at work (Longitudinal Study of

Women and the Behavioral Risk Factors Social Survey). Analyses were completed and manuscripts with the results are being reviewed.

To further advance Surveillance for Occupational Health Surveillance, a workshop was held at NIOSH in Cincinnati in April in conjunction with state based occupational surveillance experts.


Each of the four priority populations projects has its own evaluation plan for its specific objectives. Evaluation of common activities include tracking the readership for the AJIM and AJPH special issues. A NIOSH Occupational health disparities website is being constructed to disseminate information and the project will track utilization of that website.

Page last updated:April 24, 2013
Page last reviewed:May 23, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of the Director


NIOSH Program:


construction worker, crane, architect