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09-1040-NEW /BOS 2009-276
Thurs., Sept. 3, 2009
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074


U.S. Labor Department's OSHA introduces New York area community and faith-based leaders to new construction safety resource

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today introduced a new construction safety training resource for Spanish-speaking construction workers to community and faith-based leaders from the Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island in a presentation held at OSHA's Tarrytown Area Office.

"Knowledge of construction hazards and safeguards can prevent injuries and save lives," said Diana Cortez, OSHA's regional Hispanic coordinator in New York. "The challenge is to deliver that knowledge to vulnerable and hard-to-reach workers and to do so in a form that they understand and from a source they know and trust. Community and faith-based organizations are a vital link in reaching these workers."

Cortez and a representative from the Construction Safety Council presented Focus 4 Hazards, a bilingual training kit that summarizes, in a clear, concise and easy-to-understand manner, the four major construction hazards and the steps workers can take to recognize, avoid and eliminate those hazards.

Community and faith-based organizations can use the kit to educate their constituencies and themselves on the recognition and avoidance of safety and health hazards associated with construction work.

"Effective safety and health management depends on workers being able to understand job-related hazards and the means to prevent and eliminate those hazards," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "Tools such as this are designed to bridge the language gap so that Spanish- and other non-English-speaking workers can safeguard themselves and their fellow workers."

Focus 4 Hazards was developed by the Construction Safety Council under an OSHA Susan Harwood Training Grant and is available in English, Spanish and Polish. More information is available at

Today's presentation was one of a series of events OSHA is participating in between Aug. 31 and Sept. 4 as part of the first U.S.-Mexico National Labor Rights Week. The week is designed to heighten awareness of labor rights for non-English proficient and immigrant workers, including their right to safe and healthful workplaces.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit or


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