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The impact of a peer-led participatory health and safety training program for Latino day labourers in construction
  1. Q Williams*,
  2. M Ochsner,
  3. E Marshall,
  4. L Kimmel,
  5. C Martino
  1. Correspondence Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Illinois, School of Public Health (MC 922), 2121 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Abstract

Background Immigrant Latino day labourers working in residential construction are at particularly high risk of fatal and non-fatal traumatic injury and benefit from targeted training.

Objective To understand the impact of a participatory, peer-facilitated health and safety awareness training customised to the needs of Latino day labourers.

Methods Baseline surveys exploring exposures, PPE use, attitudes, work practices and work-related injuries were collected from more than 300 New Jersey Latino day labourers in construction prior to their participation in a 1 day (minimum of 6 h) Spanish language health and safety training class. The classes, led by trained worker trainers, engaged participants in a series of tasks requiring teamwork and active problem solving focused on applying safe practices to situations they encounter at their worksites. Follow-up surveys were collected from 70 of these day labourers (22% response rate) 2–6 months following training.

Results Changes from baseline to follow-up revealed significant differences in the use of certain types of PPE (hard hats: alpha= 0.02; work boots with steel toes: alpha= 0.008; safety harnesses: alpha= 0.002 and visible safety vests: alpha= 0.04), and in the frequency of trying to self-educate about job hazards: alpha= 0.008). There was also a suggestive decrease in self-reported injuries (serious injuries the prevent completion of the work day: alpha= 0.07) post-training based on small numbers.

Conclusions Participatory, peer led training tailored to the needs of construction day labourers can have a positive effect on Latino immigrant workers attitudes, work practices and self reported injury rates.

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