OSHA Region V held a Construction High-Risk Worker Summit on October 26, 2010 in Hillside, Illinois, as part of its efforts to reach out to construction workers, including day laborers. The summit was co-hosted by the Construction Safety Council (CSC), a professional consortium dedicated to the advancement of safety and health in construction. The summit was an example of OSHA's efforts to follow up on the success of the OSHA National Action Summit for Latino Worker Health & Safety to reach out to diverse and high-risk workers. Workers were a large part of the program at the Construction High-Risk Worker Summit and were able to tell their stories to OSHA representatives and the other attendees, including representatives from other government agencies, labor groups, universities, and community groups. Approximately 35 people attended the event.
The summit featured the following sessions on safety and health topics of interest to high-risk construction workers:
This summit gave OSHA Region V the opportunity to educate workers about their rights and also to learn directly from workers about their experiences with high-risk construction jobs. Region V will continue its outreach and training efforts to workers in high-risk jobs and will continue to identify effective ways to ensure that these workers receive appropriate workplace safety and health training.
"I used to take any job I could get because I didn't know about health and safety or worker rights. As day laborers and Spanish speakers, we are vulnerable to a lot of dishonest and unsafe employer practices. Now that I have received training and even do training, I know when something isn't safe and don't take the job. If the contractor doesn't respond to a serious hazard, I walk away. We're getting to more people - it's working, but we have to do the outreach and educating and not expect such vulnerable workers are necessarily going to file complaints but if they know to identify imminent danger and walk away from those situations, that's a life saved."For more information, contact Lisa Sciolaro, Labor Liaison with OSHA Region V in Chicago, Illinois.
As of January 2011.
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