Online Program

Empowering workers to be leaders of their health at work

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Todd Jailer, Hesperian Health Guides, berkeley, CA
Few occupational resources are currently written specifically for lay workers; notably lacking are resources that include information on social hazards alongside work hazards while making complex information easy to understand. Based on conversations with partners around the world, Hesperian has developed A Workers' Guide to Health and Safety, focusing on export industries and giving workers tools to create safer work places. Practical activities allow workers to localize information to their particular workplaces, while stories and testimonials from the field connect workers' experiences of success and struggle from one country and workplace to another. The objectives of this project are to 1) provide tools for critical thinking about the workplace, 2) motivate people to take action, 3) validate worker's expertise and experience, 4) promote community organizing, and 5) demystify occupational health information for those that need it most. The material was developed in collaboration with workers, organizers, activists, health professionals, academics, and people in influential roles regarding worker health and safety from the US and 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Review material was translated into Chinese, Bangla, Sindhi, Spanish, Bahasa, and Korean. During the development process, we found that people often don't know the risks inherent to their job, and that access to complex information about chemicals and processes helps workers to identify and work to mitigate those risks. Information about industrial chemicals can be presented in a way that maintains necessarily complex content, but delivers it in an understandable way that motivates workers to take appropriate action.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe the development of popular education materials as they relate to worker health and safety. Design a field-testing process for materials, from preparation and implementation to analysis and review.

Keyword(s): Workplace Safety, Workplace Stressors

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a primary author developing a resource for workers that demystifies information, validates workers’ knowledge and experience, and motivates them and others in the workplace to take action, individually and collectively, to improve their work and community lives. I joined a labor and human rights collective that supported factory workers fighting for fair and safe working conditions while working for a broad-based coalition to build the first women's crisis center in the region.
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.