236017 Occupational health hazards among Latino/a immigrant workers in Baltimore: The influence of gender, occupational status, and migration

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Airín Martínez, PhD , Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Abdel Piedramartel , Casa de Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Keeley Berry, MSW , Casa de Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Ana María Rule, MHS, PhD , Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Jacqueline Agnew, RN, MPH, PhD , Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
This presentation describes an occupational health needs assessment to identify the knowledge of occupational health hazards and barriers that impede the protection of Latino/a immigrants' health and safety in the workplace. In addition to the influence of immigration status, we are particularly interested in differences according to gender and the types of labor. This work represents a partnership between university and workers' center leaders, with the intent of developing programs at a workers' center in Baltimore, MD. Baltimore, a “new destination” for Latino immigrants, lacks baseline data regarding Latinos' health and working conditions. There is also an invisibility of female immigrants and non-Mexican Latinos in the occupational health literature. Procedures include four focus groups (n=20) and 10 key informant interviews. Inclusion criteria are: 1) being at least 18 years old; 2) self-identifying as Latino/a immigrant; and 3) working in Baltimore for the past three months. Key informants are knowledgeable leaders in immigrant labor issues. The focus group protocol and an interview guide developed by the academic and community partners query Latino/a immigrants' jobs, awareness of work hazards, illnesses/injuries at work, and their experiences reporting and seeking care for work illnesses/injuries. We report the results of thematic analyses of the focus group and interview transcripts. We also report on differences between gender, occupational status in their sender country, and the types of hazards that Latino/a immigrants face. Of interest are the differences between men and women in rates of seeking care for work injuries and the driving forces. We are concerned that Latino immigrants receive limited occupational health and safety information and protection because of their immigrant status. This work expands knowledge of occupational hazards for Latino immigrants and provides information to shape local interventions and policies.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Differentiate the types of occupational injury and illness hazards among Latino immigrants in Baltimore by gender, previous occupation in sender country, and the types of jobs. 2. Compare the occupational health hazards of Latino immigrants in Baltimore, a “New Destination,” to Latino immigrants in US cities with a more established Latino Diaspora. 3. Assess how immigrant status can hinder or enable the amount of occupational health and safety information and protection offered to immigrants.

Keywords: Access Immigration, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am one of the key investigators in this project. Specifically, I provide methods training to research assistants, collect and analyze data, and draft the manuscripts.
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.