OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 2 News Release: BOS 2003-236
Tuesday, September 09, 2003
Contact: John M. Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075
Safety and Health Training to Hispanic Workers in Westchester County
NEW YORK -- Hispanic workers in Westchester County will receive training in workplace safety and health through a cooperative effort among the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Hispanic Resource Center of Larchmont and Mamaroneck, and Wenner Bread Products of Bayport, NY.
The working group was formed in early May to provide this vital training in Spanish to Hispanic day laborers in Westchester County. While workplace fatalities have fallen nationwide, they have increased among Hispanic workers, especially those in construction.
Members of the team bring a wealth of experience in working with Hispanic populations. Wenner Bread Products of Bayport was accepted into the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program in recognition of their exemplary safety and health program. At Wenner Bread, where the majority of the employees are non-English speaking, employees receive safety and health information in their native languages. The Hispanic Resource Center of Larchmont and Mamaroneck in Westchester assists the Hispanic community with health care, housing, food, and employment.
"Access to training and information about safe and healthful work practices may be limited when English is not the first language of Hispanic employers or workers," says Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "We look forward to continuing our efforts with the Hispanic Resource Center and Wenner Bread to ensure that Hispanic workers in Westchester have access to information they need to stay safe and healthy on the job."
The team recently conducted a 10-hour OSHA construction course in Spanish, the first of its kind in the New York region. Topics included an introduction to OSHA, electrical safety, fall protection, health hazards in construction, personal protective equipment, excavation and trenching, hazard communication, scaffolding, and hand and power tools. Workers who participated in the course applauded the instructors for utilizing both lectures and hands on instruction. In addition to the training, Wenner Bread provided the participants with personal protective equipment as well as fresh treats from their bakery. The next course is scheduled for the fall and will be offered quarterly thereafter.
Nationwide, OSHA is working on new ways to reach immigrant employers and employees. To reach out to Hispanic workers, a Spanish Web page and a toll-free help line (in English and Spanish: 1-800-321-OSHA) have been established. Many publications, such as All About OSHA, have also been translated into Spanish.
To obtain additional information on this or OSHA's other Hispanic initiatives, contact the agency's regional Hispanic coordinator, Diana Cortez, in OSHA's Tarrytown area office at (914) 524-7510.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7773 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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