"We continue to be troubled by the high fatality rate among Hispanic and Latino workers," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "That is why is our Hispanic Outreach Task Force is continuing to find more and better ways to reach Spanish speaking workers and employers with information that can help save their lives. We think we have made some progress in the construction industry, but we need to expand our efforts in other areas."
OSHA's new brochure, which explains the various services, programs and tools that agency offers and is available at http://www.osha.govwww.osha.gov under "Publications," is part of a growing effort to reach Spanish-speaking workers and employers. Other products include a Spanish language Web site, www.osha.gov/as/opa/spanish; new data collection efforts to pinpoint safety and health problems among non-English-speaking employees and employers; and Spanish-language options for OSHA's toll-free help line, 1-800-321-OSHA.
The agency also offers training classes in Spanish in some parts of the country and works with community organizations to improve outreach efforts.
"The disproportionately high number of work-related deaths suffered by non-English-speaking including Hispanic workers is of grave concern to us. These workers are among the most vulnerable in America," said OSHA Administrator John L. Henshaw. "One of the major issues in improving safety of workers is communicating in a language they understand. Publications like our new one help us reach more employers and workers with our safety and health message."
OSHA established its Hispanic Outreach Task Force last year after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a disturbing increase in the fatality rate among Hispanic workers. New data from BLS, released on Sept. 25, showed that the fatality rate for Hispanic workers increased by 9 percent in 2001. But the higher numbers reflected deaths in the services and agriculture industries, rather than in construction as in prior years.