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ASSP Article Guides Better Protection for the Health and Safety of Hispanic Construction Workers


A new article published by the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) states that injuries and fatalities in construction work increase significantly among Hispanic employees. The fatality rate for Hispanic construction workers in the U.S. was 41.5% higher than the rate for non-Hispanic workers in 2020.

“There are multiple factors, some of which affect specific subgroups among our Hispanic workforce,” said Jorge Otalora, corporate safety director at Harkins Builders. “Age and immigration status are two things to keep in mind. In addition, disparities in knowledge and skills can be present, as well as the obvious language barrier.”

The article offers guidance on how to improve conditions for Hispanic construction workers, including taking into account that workers identifying as Hispanic or Latino come from many different backgrounds and have different experiences. Safety approaches should be tailored to workers with different skill sets—for example, using a mobile app may be effective for younger people but not their older peers. Visual aids are a valuable addition to training where language barriers may have an impact. The article also offers links to Spanish language resources for safety training.

Lean more in the ASSP news item.

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