202805 Safety climate in workers using workers' centers in Chicago

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Emily Ahonen, MPH, PhDc , Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Lezah P. Brown-Ellington, PhD , Health Sciences Department/Safety Program, Illinois State University, Normal, IL
Joseph Zanoni, PhDc, MILR , Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
María E. Gutiérrez, DVM, MS , Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Rosemary K. Sokas, MD, MOH, MSc , Office of Occupational Medicine, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, DC
This paper preliminarily assesses demographics and safety climate within a dissemination study that translates a popular education training curriculum to workers using workers' centers. Thirty-nine workers in Chicago self-completed a bi-lingual (Spanish-English), IRB-approved survey that assessed knowledge, attitudes and practices for health and safety.

Of 39 workers, 27 were born in Mexico. Others came from Central and northern South America (n=11); one did not report country of birth. All but one were male, 38 reported Hispanic ethnicity. Seventeen reported educational attainment of elementary school or less, while 21 had finished some middle school through college. One did not report educational attainment. They had worked in the U.S. for a range of 1-30 years (mean 10.3 years, S.D. 7 years).

Internal consistency for the 7-item safety climate scale was good (Cronbach's alpha 0.784). Respondents agreed/strongly agreed that at their workplaces: no shortcuts are taken with worker safety (n=20); and safety remains a priority even when a job is behind schedule (n=21). They were evenly divided regarding feeling free to report safety violations (n=17) and whether workers learn quickly they must follow good safety practices (n=19). They disagreed/disagreed strongly: that workers and supervisors collaborate on safety (n=21); workers are informed if they are not using good safety practices (n=22); and safety is a priority with their supervisors (n=26).

Workers active in workers' centers reported mixed results on safety climate at work. The safety climate scale showed good reliability with our population. Data collection is ongoing and additional information will be presented.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the demographic characteristics and safety climate of workers active in two workers’ centers in Chicago.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I hold an MPH degree and am a PhD candidate 6 weeks away from defending my dissertation, which addressed the occupational health of immigrant workers in Spain. The abstract presented here is the result of my work on this project, where I have been a co-investigator and involved in both protocol development and data collection.
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.