The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Austin Area Office
The Workers Defense Project
September 6, 2016
- Alliance Background
- Date Signed
- Evaluation Period
- Alliance Overview
- Implementation Team Members
- Implementation Team Meetings
- Activities, Events and Products
August 22, 2014
This report covers the period between July 15, 2015 and July 15, 2016.
To provide outreach to immigrant workers, provide training on OSHA regulations, policies and procedures to Worker’s Defense Project (WDP) employees and volunteers to foster cooperation and to further the dialogue on safety and health.
R. Casey Perkins, Area Director, Austin Area OSHA Office
Joann Natarajan, Compliance Assistance Specialist, Austin Area OSHA Office
The Workers Defense Project
Jose P. Garza, Executive Director, Workers Defense Project
Alliance meetings (in person or by phone) were held on January 19, 2016, March 01, 2016, and August 02, 2016.
- Training and Education: OSHA has provided WDP with 500 copies of OSHA publications for distribution in their construction safety orientation classes.
- Outreach and Communication: OSHA participated in monthly WDP in-take nights to provide Hispanic workers the opportunity to ask questions and file complaints with OSHA. WDP conducts intake nights to allow workers to make complaints about workplace safety issues and nonpayment of wages complaints. As a result of the intake nights, OSHA has received 16 worker complaints that were taken in person at intake nights, and fielded numerous safety and health questions from workers and WDP staff and volunteers. OSHA also responded to 20 referrals of unsafe conditions from WDP staff transmitted by email.
- Promoting the National Dialogue on Safety and Health: OSHA and WDP have worked to promote knowledge about worker rights in Central Texas through a wide range of events targeted to reach immigrant Spanish speaking workers. WDP has made twenty referrals on unsafe worksite conditions, most of which resulted in OSHA inspections that have protected workers from fall hazards in construction, amputations, and eye injuries due to PPE. These referrals were a direct result of the closer working relationship between OSHA and WDP.
- Training and Education: OSHA has provided approximately 500 pamphlets for WDP construction safety orientations, and intake nights in the past year. WDP has developed an OSHA 10 hour and safety orientation training that covers fall protection and focus four hazards. OSHA has publicized these events to assist WDP in finding Spanish speaking attendees.
- Outreach and Communication: WDP communicates with OSHA staff almost weekly to make referrals, make general safety & health inquiries, and to file complaints on behalf of Hispanic workers. OSHA has also received complaints during the intake nights. OSHA has put WDP in contact with outreach events that WDP may wish to participate in, such as HopeFest, an event that does outreach to low income Hispanic families in Central Austin. WDP and OSHA have worked with the Mexican Consulate to do joint network and conduct joint activities to reach out to immigrant workers, particularly on events such as Workers Memorial Day, and Labor Rights Week.
- 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. WDP has also made several child labor referrals to OSHA which were passed along to Wage & Hour for their action. The AAO CAS added WDP contacts for notification of her fatality update list, prompted WDP to hold a vigil for the fallen worker. WDP was instrumental in organizing a Workers Memorial Day event in 2016, which was covered by the NBC affiliate KXAN.
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||500|
|In-take nights-workers contacted||600|
|OSHA 10 hour attendees||100|
|OSHA Complaints/referrals/inquiries generated as a result of the alliance||76|
The alliance has impacted Hispanic construction workers by offering free OSHA 10 hour classes, fall protection, and focus four hazard training and through the development of targeted training materials in Spanish offered by WDP. 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 WDP staff and volunteers, which have averaged about one inquiry per week about referrals and fatalities that have occurred locally. The alliance was renewed on August 30, 2016 for another 2 years.
Report Prepared by: Joann Natarajan, Compliance Assistance Specialist, Austin Area OSHA OfficeBack to Top