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A LHA-based Approach to Safety Education among Latino Roofers

Principal Investigator:  Thomas A. Arcury, PhD


Immigrant Latinos experience elevated rates of occupational fatality, injury and illness within the construction industry.  One likely source of poor occupational health outcomes in this vulnerable worker population is the absence of linguistically and culturally appropriate safety education materials.  The overall goal of the proposed research is to determine the feasibility of using a lay health advisor (LHA)-based lesson for promoting safety practices among Latino construction workers.  LHAs provide a compelling route for delivering occupational safety content to Latino construction workers because they have been successfully used to improve occupational safety knowledge among Latino workers in several industries.

The project goal will be achieved by accomplished three specific aims that will: (1) develop and implement a linguistically and culturally-appropriate LHA-based safety education curriculum targeting fall prevention for immigrant Latino construction workers employed in roofing; (2) Document preliminary evidence of effectiveness in using an LHA-based safety education program to improve safety practices among Latino roofers; and (3) identify refinements for the LHA-based safety education program to enable definitive effectiveness testing for promoting safety among Latino roofers and reducing poor occupational health outcomes.

Preliminary evaluation of the developed safety education materials will be based on randomized trial involving 100 workers, 50 who will receive the developed Falls Prevention lesson from a trained LHA and 50 who will receive an alternative lesson targeting wage theft.  Assessments of personal safety practices will be obtained using computer-assisted telephone survey (CATS) technology to support a seven-day, end-of-day daily diary protocol.  The diary protocol will be fielded one week prior to receipt of the LHA-based lessons, again 3 weeks after receiving the safety education program, and a third time 8 weeks after receiving the lesson.

Funder:  National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Key Publications:

Arcury TA, Summers P, Carrillo L, Grzywacz JG, Quandt SA, Mills TH 3rd. Occupational safety beliefs among Latino residential roofing workers. Am J Ind Med. 2013 Sep 4. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22248. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24006046.

Lane CM, Jr., Grzywacz JG, Marín AJ, Carrillo Holbrook L, Mills T, Quandt SA, Arcury TA.  2012. Get Smart Working in Roofing! / ¡Ponte Listo Trabajando en Roofing!  Educational flipchart produced by Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine and Occupational Safety and Health Research Center, Virginia Tech.

Quick Reference

Center for Worker Health
Thomas A. Arcury, PhD

Phone: 336-716-9438
Fax: 336-716-3206
Toll Free: 877-223-8651


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