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SAFETY FIRST. ITEC-6050-602 Assignment #2. Gail Everson Kimberly Rowe Jill DeMuth Lisa Smith Ernie Lynch. Hispanic Demographics. The Hispanic population now comprises

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Assignment #2

Gail Everson Kimberly Rowe Jill DeMuth

Lisa Smith Ernie Lynch

hispanic demographics
Hispanic Demographics
  • The Hispanic population now comprises

approximately 31.7 million or 11.7 percent of the

United States population

  • 37% of the country\'s population growth between 1990

and 1999 was Hispanic

  • The median age of Hispanics (26.4 years) is nine years

younger than the median age for the U. S. overall

  • The growth rate of the Hispanic workforce is four times

that of the non-Hispanic workforce

  • 64% of U.S. Hispanics were born in the states
  • Hispanics have a 14% fatality rate in the workplace yet they comprise 11% of the workforce

Hispanic fatalities in the construction industry

Background statistics 2003

A total of 5,559 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2003

The largest number of fatal work injuries in 2003 was in the construction sector (NAICS 23). The 1,126 fatal work injuries in private construction accounted for more than one out of every five fatalities in 2003.

Specialty trade contractors (NAICS 238) recorded 626 fatalities or about 56 percent of the construction total. Another 226 construction workers were fatally injured while working in building construction (NAICS 236) including 128 fatalities in residential building construction (NAICS 2361).


Heavy and civil engineering construction (NAICS 237) reported 247 fatal work

injuries or about 22 percent of the construction total.

Hispanic workers continued to record the highest rate of fatal injuries among the racial/ethnic groups reported (4.5 fatal work injuries per 100,000 Hispanic workers). From 1992 – 1999 5138 Hispanic workers lost their lives.

Fatal work injuries among foreign-born Hispanic workers declined for the first time ever in the fatality census, although fatalities among native-born Hispanic workers rose slightly in 2003.

The number of fatal injuries rose for workers under 25 years of age and for workers 45 years of age and older in 2003, although workers from 25 through 44 years of age recorded fewer fatalities.


The U.S. Department of Labor statistics show the injury and illness rate for North Carolina dropped from 4.7 injured workers to 4.4 for every 100 full time workers

There were 44 construction deaths in 2002 compared to 51 in 2001. (NC)

A major concern to everyone is how to reduce the number of fatalities in the construction industry, especially in the Hispanic population.

Many Hispanics cannot speak English and are even illiterate in their own language making it difficult in explaining how to do a job and do it safely.


Bridging the communication gap

Establish and enforce a bilingual health and safety programs

Print safety brochures, training materials and operation manuals in Spanish

Hire bilingual employees

Use bilingual signage where necessary

Provide on site safety supervision to identify and correct unsafe work practices

Conduct a job hazard analysis for each work task performed

Hold safety toolbox talks every morning in a manner that will be understood by each worker, prior to starting work

Hands on training


NIOSH case studies reviewed by SAFETY FIRST

Two Hispanic construction workers die after trench collapse

Hispanic youth dies after falling from job-made elevated platform

Hispanic painter electrocuted when aluminum ladder made contact with

overhead power line

Hispanic pipe layer dies after being struck by excavator



OSHA standard 1926.651(a)

Surface encumbrances. All surface encumbrances that are located so as to create a hazard to employees shall be removed or supported, as necessary, to safeguard employees


Fall Protection

This photo illustrates a close-up view of the condominium stairwell and balcony. A white rectangular box illustrates the approximate location of the elevated work platform from which the victim fell. The letter A is used to identify the victim’s approximate location before the fall and the letter B is used to identify the victim’s approximate location after the fall [Photograph courtesy of SCOSHA (the white rectangular box and letters A and B were added by the DSR investigator)].

OSHA standard 1926.451(g)(1)

Each employee on a scaffold more than 10 feet (3.1 m) above a lower level shall be protected from falling to that lower level.



OSHA standard 1926.416(a)(1)

No employer shall permit an employee to work in such proximity to any part of an electric power circuit that the employee could contact the electric power circuit in the course of work, unless the employee is protected against electric shock by de-energizing the circuit and grounding it or by guarding it effectively by insulation or other means.



OSHA requires that workers in trenches and excavations be protected, and that safety and health programs address the variety of hazards they face.


Contributing Factors Identified

  • Employers did not ensure that safety instructions included in the
  • manufacturer’s operator’s manual were followed.
  • An elevated work platform that did not meet safety requirements and an
  • employee that was not provided fall protection when the potential for a
  • fall existed.
  • Injured workers should have been provided with the appropriate emergency
  • medical services.
contributing factors identified cont d
Contributing Factors Identified (Cont’d)

Employers did not conduct daily inspections of excavations, adjacent areas, and protective systems in order to protect workers.

There was no signal person or spotter when the employee was operating the excavation machinery in trenching area. The excavator operator should have been trained to make sure that the area was clear of workers and that workers were in a safe place before moving the machine.

No employer shall permit an employee to work in such proximity to any part of an electric power circuit that the employee could contact the electric power circuit in the course of work, unless the employee is protected against electric shock by de-energizing the circuit and grounding it or by guarding it effectively by insulation or other means.


Debate what you think the relationship was between the language barrier and the incidents.

    • Lack of proper communication in Spanish and English. Effective communication would entail an understanding of safety procedures.
    • The reluctance of many Latinos to challenge authority means they may agree to do unsafe jobs, or not stop co-workers from risky behavior.
  • This cultural aversion to saying no, in fear of loosing their jobs may well be one factor behind the high fatality rates for Hispanic workers.
  • Training in safety matters has to be hands on instruction, many Hispanics cannot read or write Spanish; therefore, having materials written in Spanish does not mean the message is being conveyed is being understood.
debate what you think the relationship was between the language barrier and the incidents
Debate what you think the relationship was between the language barrier and the incidents.

Lack of understanding of cultural differences creates mistrust among workers, even if you have a bi-lingual speaking American, there is still an aire of discomfort.

Employers should use Latino instructors and qualified supervisors when possible who can relate to and can help others relax and be comfortable.

Safety expectations based on a worker’s home country work practices combined with unfamiliarity with worker rights are likely at the root of these fatality figures.


What, as a safety professional, would you do to prevent reoccurrence?

    • Attempt to eliminate or overcome language barrier.
    • Incorporate dual-language labels and signs with graphics to provide hazard warnings and instructions in the worksite.
    • Utilize hands on training with employees in conjunction with the
    • usage of Spanish safety videos.
    • Perform demonstrations to convey the importance of safety.
    • Provide verbal and/or written testing to ensure that the information
    • conveyed was understood by every employee.
    • It would be mandatory for an interpreter to be on site daily when
    • non-English speaking employees are present in the workforce.
additional suggestions
Additional Suggestions
  • Use a bilingual instructor to ensure non-English speaking employees understand the safety requirements at your company. If that is impractical, a bilingual employee may prove helpful in conveying the safety message.
  • Pair bilingual employees up with non-English speaking workers to help them understand the safety training.
  • Keep training materials simple and avoid technical jargon.
  • Use visual aids such as signs, pictures, symbols, graphics, posters, and videos to relay important safety information during training sessions and place them throughout the worksite.
  • Have printed materials and videos in a second language for those who need it.
  • Offer incentives to bilingual employees to assist workers not fluent in English.
  • Provide English classes.

Should safety professionals learn Spanish?

Yes, if safety professionals interact with Hispanic workers, they should have some comprehension of Spanish to bridge the communication gap.

According to OSHA’s interpretation of 1910.1200(b), when employers have a training requirement, they must provide it in a language the worker can understand.

Construction safety professionals must possess the ability to communicate effectively within an organization, have a variety of management styles and the ability to function with a diverse work force. They must identify hazards early and ensure that controls for them are in place before work begins.

Merry Christmas



Should bilingual supervisors learn safety?

    • Yes, so they can relay safety information to their workers.
    • All supervisors, bilingual or not, need to know the safety concepts to adequately demonstrate work practices to a workforce with limited English skills
    • Everyone must be held accountable for
    • safety in the workplace.

What other considerations do you have to reduce risk?

    • Closer supervision by OSHA.
    • Pursue every feasible means to obtain the authentic age of each worker
    • hired and establish work policies that comply with the child labor standards
    • prohibiting youths less than 18 years of age from performing hazardous
    • work.
    • Contractors need to verify that sub-contractors have a safety program in
    • place and that employees are properly trained.
    • Be accountable for all culture differences.
    • Conduct daily tailgate meetings and explain hazards of the job. A
    • question and answer session should follow.
    • Educate workers on safety rules and regulations and enforce that they must
    • be followed.

Employers should develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive safety

  • training program in language(s) and literacy level (s) that all workers
  • understand that includes, but is not limited to, hazard recognition training,
  • avoidance of unsafe work conditions and safe trenching procedures.
  • Site project management companies should consider ensuring through
  • contract language that contractors have a comprehensive safety and health
  • program that addresses all aspects of the jobs they are to perform.
  • Only qualified rescue personnel who have assumed responsibility for
  • rescue operations and site safety should attempt rescue operations.
  • Conduct a jobsite survey during the planning phases of any construction
  • project to identify potential hazards, and to develop and implement
  • appropriate control measures for these hazards.
  • Avoid isolating workers because of their language skills.