270936 Occupational health experiences of Hispanic day laborers

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Claudia Diaz Fuentes, MPhil, MA , Pardee RAND Graduate School, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, NM
Narda Hernandez-Dias, BA , Latino Health Outreach Project Coordinator, Common Ground Health Clinic, Algiers, New Orleans, LA
Leonardo Martinez, MPH , LHOP Research Assistant, Common Ground Health Clinic, Algiers, New Orleans, LA
Meshawn Tarver, MPH , Executive Director, Common Ground Health Clinic, New Orleans, LA
Marielena Lara, MD, MPH , RAND Health, Santa Monica, CA
INTRODUCTION: Hispanic day laborers' experiences with occupational risks and adverse working conditions remain largely understudied and underreported. AIM: As part of formative work to develop an educational intervention for Spanish-speaking day laborers in post-Katrina New Orleans, we assessed knowledge of equipment and behaviors to prevent exposures, as well as barriers and possible enhancers for undertaking protective actions. METHODS: We conducted 7 focus groups with day laborers recruited from locations where they look for work (n=48; 40 men and 8 women). The semi-structured open-ended question probes were based on field staff experience with the population, and the limited information available from a field scan and literature review. Trained moderators were ethnic and native language concordant with the participants. The study protocol was approved by the IRB and guided by Grounded Theory methods. RESULTS: Almost no workers had received formal training about occupational risks and safety. Their knowledge was mostly based on their experience and their peers'. The most salient concerns were respiratory and musculoskeletal risks. Workers reported limited safety equipment availability and frequently performing jobs without it or with improvised protection. Barriers included the expense of acquiring safety equipment not provided by employers and concerns about jeopardizing their job for requesting equipment not provided. Enhancers included availability of highly-visual, easy-to-understand information about specific equipment and one-on-one, hands-on trainings on using it. CONCLUSIONS: Given the limited knowledge about occupational safety information and equipment in this population, formative research is an important step in developing a relevant and culturally sensitive educational intervention.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Assess day laborer's concerns about occupational risks. Identify day laborers' perceived barriers to adopting workplace safety practices. Describe day laborers' communication preferences for information about workplace safety practices.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Latino Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research focus is Latino Health, for which I received one of my school's most prestigious dissertation awards. The abstract presented corresponds to a project I have worked in since its beginnings under the supervision of Dr. Marielena Lara. Since then, I have worked closely with our community partners and population of study in collecting the data presented. I was also responsible for developing the analysis plan and coordinating its implementation.
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.

Back to: 4210.0: Occupational Epidemiology