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Region VIII Partners with Mexican "Mobile Consulate" to Reach Out to Mexican Workers

As called for in its Strategic Management Plan (SMP), OSHA is continuing to identify ways to improve the safety and health of immigrants and other hard-to-reach workers and employers. In that spirit, OSHA's Region VIII partnered with the Mexican Consulate in Denver by participating in the consulate's "Mobile Consulate" program to provide outreach and assistance to Mexican workers in Colorado.

On September 7 and October 25, 2003, Spanish-speaking compliance officers from both the Denver Area Office and the Englewood Area Office participated in the Consulate's Mobile Consulate program. Over those two days, the OSHA compliance officers contacted over 450 Mexican workers. The Mobile Consulate provides Mexican workers living and working in some of the more remote areas of Colorado with an opportunity to meet with their consulate representatives, process legal documents, and get information without traveling to the Consulate building in Denver. The Mobile Consulate is generally held on one Saturday per month in areas of the state with high Mexican immigrant populations.

The two OSHA Area Offices participated in the Mobile Consulate program to provide Mexican workers with information about their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and answer questions about basic safety and health issues. Most importantly, the OSHA representatives also provided these workers with names and contact information for bilingual resources in the Area Offices should they require future assistance. Region VIII believes that providing this resource for Mexican workers in Colorado will minimize the workers' hesitation of working with OSHA and will ultimately eliminate job site hazards and prevent injuries and illnesses.

In December 2003, the Denver and Englewood Area Offices signed an Alliance with the Mexican Consulate in Denver to continue to pursue opportunities to work together to protect Mexican workers in Colorado. The Denver District Offices of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division are also parties to this Alliance.

For more information, please contact Megan Meagher, OSHA's Compliance Assistance Specialist in the Denver, Colorado Area Office.

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