Work safety climate and safety practices among immigrant Latino residential construction workers

BACKGROUND: Latino residential construction workers experience high rates of occupational fatality and injury. Work safety climate is an especially important consideration for improving the safety of these immigrant workers. This analysis describes work safety climate among Latino residential construction workers, delineates differences in work safety climate by personal and employment characteristics, and determines associations of work safety climate with specific work safety behaviors. METHODS: Data are from a cross-sectional survey of 119 Latino residential framers, roofers, and general construction workers in western North Carolina; 90 of these participants also provided longitudinal daily diary data for up to 21 days using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Measures included the Perceived Safety Climate Scale, and daily reports of five individual and five collective safety practices. RESULTS: Work safety climate was mixed among workers, with roofers (19.9) having lower levels than framers (24.3) or general construction workers (24.3). Days reported for several individual (glove-related risks, not doing something known to be unsafe) and collective safety practices (attended daily safety meeting, not needing to use damaged equipment, not seeing coworker create an unsafe situation) were positively associated with work safety climate. CONCLUSIONS: Work safety climate predicts subsequent safety behaviors among Latino residential construction workers, with differences by trade being particularly important. Interventions are needed to improve safety training for employers as well as workers. Further research should expand the number of workers and trades involved in analyses of work safety climate.

Source : Arcury TA, Mills T, Marín AJ, Summers P, Quandt SA, Rushing J, Lang W, Grzywacz JG. Am. J. Ind. Med. 2012.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22058

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