Online Program

Sí sé: Salud y seguridad en el trabajo—health and safety education for forest workers

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:46 a.m.

Diane Bush, MPH, Labor Occupational Health Program, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Carl Wilmsen, PhD, Alliance of Forest Workers and Harvesters, Albany, CA
Dinorah Barton-Antonio, Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP), University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Andrea L. Steege, PhD, MPH, Surveillance Branch, DSHEFS, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH
Timothy Sasaki, MPH, MSW, c/o Labor Occupational Health Program, UC Berkeley, School of Public Health/School of Social Welfare, Berkeley, CA
Background and Objectives: Forest work, with some of the highest rates of injury and illness, is conducted primarily by a Latino immigrant workforce. The purpose of this project was to create and evaluate a pilot lay health advisor—or promotora—program for Latino forest workers. The program objectives were to increase: 1)Knowledge among forest workers and their families about their rights, how to protect themselves, and actions in case of injury/illness; 2)Forest workers' motivation, willingness, and confidence to address health and safety issues; and 3)Community capacity to protect workers' health. Methods: The promotoras selected were wives of forest workers. Training materials, developed in partnership with a community advisory committee, included low-literacy flip-guide charts, “conversation” guides, and resource booklets. Evaluation methods included a focus group, pre/post surveys, and qualitative feedback from a community advisory committee and promotoras. Results: Over one year, three promotoras trained 350 forest workers. Key findings: 1)Community capacity to provide information and assistance on work-related issues to forest workers increased, 2)Workers' awareness of workplace safety issues and protections, and stated motivation for action increased; 3)Educational materials served purposes of the project but were not key to its success; and 4)Due to fear of retaliation and reprisal, few workers have taken any specific action to improve workplace conditions. Conclusions: Although the promotora model is an effective way to reach forest workers with health/safety information, due to larger structural and cultural barriers, many workers are unable to make changes in their behavior or their workplace in this short timeframe.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss components of a job health and safety promotora program for Latino forest workers Identify barriers and strategies for developing community-level interventions that effectively address workplace health and safety

Keyword(s): Occupational Health, Community Health Promoters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the co-coordinator of the Health and Safety Education for Forest Workers Project since its inception in 2010. I have and MPH in community health education and 25 years' experience as an occupational health educator and program planner.
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.