207746 Using social ecology to develop pilot worksite interventions in construction: PPE availability and use in Southern Florida

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:00 AM

Marc Weinstein, PhD , Department of Leadership and Professional Studies, College of Education, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Health risks from occupational exposure to noise and silica dust are well known and documented. While every effort needs to be made to develop better engineering controls to reduce workplace exposures, there are industries such as construction where there may be limits to engineering solutions due to the physical characteristics of materials and work processes. This indicates the continuing need for more effective utilization of personal protective equipment (PPE) among workers. However, this does not suggest that the solution to achieving more effective PPE utilization is simply one of changing worker behavior. In this paper, we discuss and demonstrate how social ecology can provide an important framework to understand and address important challenges in occupational safety and health. Drawing on interviews from 31 Spanish-speaking construction workers, interviews with safety professionals employed by general contractors and specialty subcontractors, and multiple worksite observations in Southern Florida, we identify existing barriers to the more extensive and effective utilization of PPE. These findings provide the empirical foundation upon which specific recommendations are made to develop a culturally appropriate worksite intervention to improve the use of PPE among Latino construction workers in Southern Florida.

Learning Objectives:
Describe barriers to providing workers greater protection from occupational exposures in construction. Discuss the value of social ecology in the development of worksite safety interventions.

Keywords: Occupational Safety, Intervention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have research and published extensively in the field of occupational safety and health. I have also been a co-investigator on a number of NIH and NIOSH grants.
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.