ANNUAL ALLIANCE REPORT
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Austin Area Office
The Mexican Consulate in Austin
October 30, 2017
August 31, 2015
This report covers the period between August 30, 2016 and August 30, 2017.
To provide outreach to Mexican Nationals in Central Texas of their rights under OSHA and to foster cooperation and to further the dialogue on safety and health.
Implementation Team Members
R. Casey Perkins, Area Director, Austin Area OSHA Office
Joann Natarajan, Compliance Assistance Specialist, Austin Area OSHA Office
The Mexican Consulate
Blanca Gaviño Arvizo, Protection Department
Jonathan Hernandez, Protection Department
Implementation Team Meetings
Alliance meetings (in person or by phone) were held on July 27, 2017, April 17, 2017, and August 3, 2017.
Activities, Events and Products
- Training and Education: A training session was also provided to Consulate staff on OSHA complaint intake during Labor Rights Week 2016 and again in 2017.
- Outreach and Communication: OSHA participated in exhibit table events at the Mexican Consulate to distribute worker's rights information to Mexican Nationals visiting the Consulate. OSHA, the Mexican Consulate, and another alliance partner, the Workers Defense Project, have joined together to assist Mexican workers needing assistance with unsafe jobsite conditions, and injured workers whose employers refuse to pay for their medical bills. One of the main outreach events planned with the Consulate is Labor Rights Week.
- Promoting the National Dialogue on Safety and Health: OSHA added the Consulate contacts to her email distribution lists on free and low cost safety classes, and other local safety events.
- Training and Education: OSHA has provided approximately 600 pamphlets for Labor Rights Week distribution bags that were handed out at ten events during Labor Rights Week. The Consulate also retained some All About OSHA pamphlets for distribution at the Consulate. Approximately 300 Hispanic workers were reached through exhibit tables at the Consulate.
- Outreach and Communication: Labor Rights Week events were spearheaded by the Consulate. Participants included governmental and nonprofit organizations, with three additional groups participating this year over last year's events. There were a total number of eight events in 2016, and six took place in 2017. More events were planned for Labor Rights Week 2017, but were impacted by Hurricane Harvey, that resulted in cancellation of two events. The groups participating in Labor Rights Week included Wage & Hour, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Catholic Charities, Equal Justice Center, Austin Police Department, Refugee Services of Texas, EEOC, the Office of Injured Employee Counsel, in addition to the Consulate and OSHA. A total of 600 bags of information were distributed at events across Austin, containing information on labor rights, legal rights, and human trafficking. The events during Labor Rights Week included distribution of informational bags at the Consulate, and a phone bank on worker rights was held at local Spanish TV station Univision in Austin to do intake on various worker's rights issues such as wage theft and discrimination. OSHA, EEOC, and Refugee Services of Texas also provided training to all the groups participating in Labor Rights Week on the information needed to make a referral to OSHA and EEOC.
- Promoting the National Dialogue on Safety and Health: The alliance has opened the door of communication with immigrant Spanish workers in the Austin and nationally, so that they can exercise their right to a safe and healthy workplace.
The alliance has raised the Agency's profile with hard to reach immigrant Spanish speaking workers in the Austin area through a multi-pronged approach.
Type of Activity (Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc.) Number of Individuals Reached or Trained Spanish OSHA publications provided
The alliance provides a conduit for Hispanic workers to exercise their OSHA workplace rights. The OSHA CAS has been the main contact for questions from Consular staff. The alliance was renewed on August 25, 2017 for another 2 years.
Report Prepared by: Joann Natarajan, Compliance Assistance Specialist, Austin Area OSHA Office