229979 Building a university-worker partnership to address occupational health and safety concerns among taxi workers in Los Angeles

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Kevin Riley, PhD MPH , Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Linda Delp, PhD , Labor Occupational Safety & Health Program, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Since 2008, the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (UCLA-LOSH) has collaborated with the Los Angeles Taxi Worker Alliance (LATWA) to address work-related health and safety concerns among taxi workers in Los Angeles. LATWA is a worker-led association that organizes for the dignity, respect and rights of LA taxi workers, an ethnically diverse and predominantly immigrant workforce. There are an estimated 2,300 licensed taxicabs in the city of Los Angeles, and while prior research studies have highlighted difficult working conditions for drivers, few have involved workers in prioritizing problems and identifying solutions. This paper highlights the accomplishments of this unique university-worker partnership. We describe efforts by UCLA-LOSH, student interns and LATWA Health and Safety Committee representatives to identify health and safety concerns through focus groups, interviews, and hazard mapping activities. We also describe the role of each partner in organizing the first-ever health fair for LA taxi workers. The health fair served as an important venue for LATWA to conduct outreach while meeting the basic healthcare needs of its members. A questionnaire administered during the event indicates that workers suffer from long work hours and difficult job conditions; work-related injuries and health problems; physical and verbal abuse; and lack of access to restrooms while on the job. We present results from our collaborative work and next steps to improve taxi driver conditions. We also discuss lessons learned from this partnership and consider the relevance of this collaborative model for addressing health and safety concerns among other worker populations.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the accomplishments of a university-worker partnership to address health and safety concerns among LA taxi workers. Identify the major lessons learned and consider how this collaborative model might apply to other worker populations.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee this university-worker partnership and coordinate other community-based programs at UCLA-LOSH.
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.