252030 Effective Approaches to Education and Training for Underserved Populations

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:30 AM

Tom O'Connor, MPH , National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, Raleigh, NC
Michael Flynn, MA , Training Research and Evaluation Branch, CDC/NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH
Deborah L. Weinstock, MS , National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training, Washington, DC
Joseph Zanoni, PhD, MILR , Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
There are a number of challenges to education and training interventions that aim to reduce occupational health disparities. Structural barriers often discourage worker-initiated action to advocate for improved safety and health conditions in workplaces even when workers have adequate knowledge of risks. Cultural differences also need to be considered in the design and implementation of education and training interventions.

The paper will focus on effective and promising solutions to meeting the unique challenges of conducting education and training with populations that experience occupational health disparities. The paper will give an overview of a range of training methods available and will discuss the factors to be considered in selecting a training approach given a specific context in the workplace or community. Strategies for using education and training to facilitate changes in workplaces (research to practice)—including changes in worker knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors as well as work organization and other structural elements—will be explored. Techniques for creating education and training interventions that are culturally relevant and appropriate with racially, ethnically, and economically diverse populations will also be addressed.

The paper will also examine issues of evaluation of training and educational interventions addressing diverse populations. A variety of evaluation strategies will be described and analyzed. The paper will examine which evaluation methods have been used successfully and will address how we can improve the evaluation of training and educational approaches.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
a) Identify at least three training techniques that have been proven effective in training workers that experience occupational health disparities. b) Identify at least three factors to be considered in developing an appropriate approach to providing occupational safety and health training to underserved populations of workers. c) Identify at least three evaluation models that can be used in evaluating such programs and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Keywords: Education, Occupational Health Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 20 years of experience in training and education of immigrant workers and have written extensively on issues affecting immigrant workers, including a 2003 study commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences entitled “Reaching Spanish-Speaking Workers and Employers with Occupational Safety and Health Information.”
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.