The aims of this project are to develop and maintain a community-based partnership committed to improving construction safety and health in Lawrence, Massachusetts, an area with a largely Hispanic immigrant workforce and contractors with varying levels of knowledge and resources;apply a community-based participatory approach to adapt organizational and technical interventions for fall prevention and silica exposure prevention to the study setting;implement the interventions developed and evaluate their effectiveness at reducing silica exposure and fall hazards;diffuse effective approaches to protecting Hispanic construction worker health throughout the Lawrence metropolitan area;and institutionalize a community-university-employer-labor partnership that combines the skills and resources of all members to protect the health of vulnerable workers over the long term. The research design follows a 12-stage process adapted from community-based participatory research for workplace intervention studies. It systematically involves community, university, business, and labor partners in all stages of the research from community assessment and problem definition through intervention development, data collection, and dissemination of findings. The intervention study component applies a quasi-experimental crossover design to involve two groups of employers in programs to prevent exposure to silica dust and fall hazards, in which each group acts as a control group for the other. Data will be collected to assess changes in hazards present on construction sites as well as on the effectiveness of each component of the partnership process. Its major strength is the involvement of many sectors of the construction industry and experts in construction safety, immigrant safety and health, and worker education. This study is highly relevant to public health because Hispanic construction workers, a growing percentage of the U.S. workforce, suffer exceptionally high rates of fatal and disabling falls at work, yet few programs have demonstrated success at reducing fall hazards. Hispanic workers are also exposed to high levels of dusts, such as silica, that are associated with disabling and fatal lung diseases. The social, cultural, economic, legal, and linguistic issues confronting Hispanic construction workers present challenges and opportunities to developing innovative occupational health interventions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HOP-U (91))
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Inserra, Steve
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University of Massachusetts Lowell
Schools of Earth Sciences/Natur
United States
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Marin, Luz S; Cifuentes, Manuel; Roelofs, Cora (2015) Results of a community-based survey of construction safety climate for Hispanic workers. Int J Occup Environ Health 21:223-31
Martinez, Linda Sprague; Ndulue, Uchenna J; Brunette, Maria J (2012) Lessons Learned from the Protección en Construcción Community Research Partnership. Int Public Health J 4:275-284
Roelofs, Cora; Sprague-Martinez, Linda; Brunette, Maria et al. (2011) A qualitative investigation of Hispanic construction worker perspectives on factors impacting worksite safety and risk. Environ Health 10:84