Online Program

Changing construction contractors attitudes and safety practices to improve safety climate for hispanic construction workers

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:46 p.m. - 5:02 p.m.

Luz Stella Marin, ScD, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA
Cora Roelofs, ScD, Community Health Program, Tufts University, Medford, MA
Milagro Grullon, MS, Lawrence Community Connections, Lawrence, MA
Michael Gagliardi, LIUNA Local 175, Methuen, MA
Background: Hispanic construction workers are disproportionately impacted by work-related injuries and illnesses. We used a community-based participatory research process to better understanding and address this problem. A community-university-labor partnership, “Protección en Construcción (PenC): Lawrence Latino Safety Partnership” was established in Lawrence, MA to research ways to prevent falls and silica dust exposure affecting Latino construction workers. PenC created the Leaders in Safe Construction (LISC) training program to provide small, mainly residential contractors with skills, knowledge and motivation to improve conditions on their worksites. Methods: Surveys and focus groups indicated that safety climate problems, including pressure to work fast and lack of effective communication, contributed hazardous conditions. We developed a 5-hour Construction Supervisor training to improve safety climate and reduce injuries by promoting safety leadership among contractors and supervisors. A pre-post training evaluation was used to measure changes in participants' knowledge as well as a follow up survey to explore changes on attitudes and safety practices. Results: Close to 100 participants, mainly contractors and field supervisors were trained in English and Spanish. Evaluation scores improved 26% on average post-training. The three-six month follow-up survey showed significant impact in contractors' attitudes toward safety leadership, fall prevention activities on site, and ability to communicate with Hispanic workers. Conclusion: Construction safety interventions aimed at improving contractor leadership on safety may lead to better safety climate for all workers and help mitigate the factors that disproportionately impact Hispanic construction workers.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Explain the Construction Supervisor Training intervention and how it can be used to improve Hispanics workers negative safety climate in the construction worksites. Discuss importance of focusing on contractors’ and supervisors’ authority and responsibility to modify safety conditions in the construction site.

Keyword(s): Occupational Safety, Cultural Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Safety Professionals with 10 years experience in the construction industry, investigating fatalities, as well as designing and conducting interventions in the practical injury prevention. I have been involved in this project as a Research Assistant since 2008 and am co-responsible for developing the intervention and implementing it in the field.
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.