Online Program

Evaluation of California's campaign to prevent heat illness among outdoor workers

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Suzanne Teran, MPH, Labor Occupational Health Program, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Charlotte Chang, DrPH, MPH, Labor Occupational Health Program, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Ron Strochlic, MA, UCBerkeley Center for Weight and Health, Berkeley, CA
California's heat illness prevention campaign aims to reduce heat-related fatalities and illness among low-wage, non-English-speaking outdoor workers in the state. This presentation will review findings from evaluation activities conducted after the campaign's third year to assess impact on workers, employers and working conditions. Overall, findings on campaign impact were positive, including high reported levels of campaign exposure, positive perceptions of activities, and endorsements of attitudes promoted by campaign messages. Improvements on outcome measures related to worker and employer behaviors and working conditions were reported by the majority of worker, employer, and community representatives, who attributed findings to combined campaign efforts. Signs of community capacity appeared promising as well, as a network of community organizations was engaged in carrying out outreach and education with workers in their communities. Ongoing challenges and barriers that keep some workers at risk for heat illness were identified including conflicting incentives centered on the piece-rate pay structure, social pressures to not slow the crew down or be perceived as working less and workers' fear to ask for changes. A comprehensive campaign approach with reinforcing components of media, education, outreach and Cal/OSHA enforcement was central to the strategy of promoting heat illness prevention for outdoor workers and their supervisors. In addition to the comprehensive nature of the campaign, the sustained effort over three years likely contributed to the impact.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Identify the improvements on outcome measures related to worker and employer behaviors and working conditions that were reported by worker, employer, and community respondents in evaluation activities. Describe the lessons learned through this multi-prong campaign that has used a social marketing framework to include media, development of effective educational materials, outreach and training, as well as concurrent enforcement efforts by Cal/OSHA.

Keyword(s): Immigrants, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have managed the evaluation activities as well as the programmatic components of the campaign that is described, and have years of experience developing programs that aim to improve working conditions and health and safety for immigrant workers.
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.