processing, and small manufacturing, which have large numbers of monolingual Spanish speakers (see Appendix E).

  1. There is a particularly small amount of materials that addresses workers’ health and safety legal rights, especially in a manner relevant to immigrant workers. For example, a recent Supreme Court decision has given the incorrect perception that OSHA laws do not apply to many immigrant workers (see Appendix E). There are few materials that address the intersection of immigration rights and health and safety rights.

At the workshop there was general agreement on the need to collect, evaluate and disseminate Spanish-language resources on an ongoing basis. This clearinghouse-type effort poses significant challenges, such as determining which criteria should be used to assess the quality of materials to be included. In order to do this it would be useful for NIOSH to call a consensus conference or workshop to focus specifically on this task. In addition, the workshop participants also agreed that identifying funding for active collection and maintenance of materials may prove difficult. However, given the paucity of effective educational materials for a large and growing U.S. population at risk, NIOSH, OSHA, and other agencies responsible for worker safety must rise to the challenge.

An additional point of agreement at the workshop was that it is not enough simply to collect, evaluate, and disseminate existing materials. Development of new materials would also be of great value. The need for these materials cannot be adequately met by a centralized governmental approach. This gap may best be filled by those who are in direct contact with the affected populations and aware of their health and safety training and information needs. Discussion during the workshop often centered on the important topic of providing resources for those who are best able to access high-risk Spanish-speaking workers and to support their efforts through:

  1. funding for tailored outreach and education efforts, and for development of appropriate materials needed for such efforts;

  2. networking among those who are reaching Spanish-speaking workers to exchange approaches and learn from one another’s experiences;

  3. technical support for those community organizations that may have the best access to a particular worker population and may be the most trusted source of information and training for those workers, but may not have the necessary safety and health expertise to carry out the work without training and assistance.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement