197653 NJ immigrant day laborers in construction: Evaluation of a training intervention

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 11:00 AM

Michele L. Ochsner, PhD , Occupational Training and Education Consortum (OTEC), Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Quintin L. Williams Jr, PhD , Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
Elizabeth G. Marshall, PhD , Department of Epidemiology, UMDNJ School of Public Health, Piscataway, NJ
Background: As part of the Center to Protect Worker's Rights NIOSH Consortium, a Rutgers based-team has partnered with New Labor, a Latino worker center, and the NJ Laborers Union Health and Safety Fund, to understand the health and safety needs of Latino day laborers in construction. This initiative developed and evaluated a participatory peer-led training program based on the contents of the OSHA 10hr training curriculum. Although immigrant day laborers are eager to learn safety practices, their need to work often makes them take on jobs they believe are dangerous.

Methods: Working closely with the research team, New Labor members have conducted outreach at local day labor sites, led focus groups, conducted Spanish language training classes for more than 400 laborers, and provided demos at the corners with fall protection harnesses and ladders. Working with this highly mobile population is challenging; lessons from the intervention and research process will be highlighted.

Results: Only 12 of 313 survey participants reported being able to “understand English very well.” The post-intervention group tried to find out more information about job hazards on their own (t=2.5, df=350, á=0.013) and reported an increased need to wear steel-toed boots (t=3.2, df=157, á=0.002). Sixty-six percent of training participants returning surveys reported sharing information from their safety workbook with friends and co-workers. Interviews revealed changes in attitudes, willingness to request PPE from bosses and changes in work practices.

Conclusions: This research contributes to understanding how safety training can reduce exposures in a highly vulnerable population.

Learning Objectives:
1) Assess strategies for recruitment, training, and collecting data from this hard-to-reach population 2) Identify the quantitative and qualitative impacts of the training program 3) Describe key lessons from this project

Keywords: Construction Injuries, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PI of project being discussed
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.