News Detail

CDC Requests Comments Regarding Occupational Safety and Health Training for Spanish-Speaking Construction Workers

In today’s Federal Register, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it is seeking comments on a new information collection request (ICR) entitled, “Field Testing of Spanish-Language Toolbox Talks for Spanish-Speaking Construction Workers.”  “Toolbox talks” are brief (approximately 5-10 minutes) occupational safety and health (OSH) instructional sessions designed to be delivered on the worksite or at the contractor’s office. This new ICR will evaluate Spanish-language toolbox talks with Spanish-speaking construction workers to assess the effectiveness of toolbox talks as an OSH training method for this audience.

The CDC is assessing toolbox talks for Spanish speaking construction workers to help address the fact that there are approximately 1.8 million Spanish-speaking workers employed in construction. Moreover, CDC observes that Latino workers are injured and killed at rates 2–3 times higher than non-Latino construction workers. The CDC notes that among the challenges to addressing this disparity and its impact on the OSH needs of the larger construction industry is the large proportion of Latino workers employed by of small businesses. Over 40 percent of Spanish-speaking construction workers work for businesses employing ten or fewer workers, and these small establishments have a higher risk of fatal injuries. This is due to several factors, including that these smaller entities have more limited resources to apply to OSH training needs. In 2010 alone, 56.3% of construction deaths occurred in establishments with fewer than 20 employees. From 2003–2008, small establishments with 1–10 employees reported an average of 47% work-related deaths among Latino workers, while employing 44% of the Latino construction workers.

The CDC designed toolbox talks to require minimal resources to make them a good training format for small construction contractors. They have been successfully disseminated throughout the construction industry. The purpose of this ICR is to study and evaluate a subset of Spanish language toolbox talks as an OSH training tool for Spanish-speaking construction workers (especially at small employers), and to assess whether the addition of a narrative scenario and discussion questions increases the effectiveness of this training. The data collection will occur prior to presentation of the first toolbox talk and following presentation of the final toolbox talk of the project. The data collection instrument will consist of items that will include basic demographics, safety knowledge related to the content of the selected toolbox talks, safety culture, and attitudes toward safety.  Through this field test ICR, data will be collected at a given work site for four weeks, using a total of four toolbox talks. The data collection will occur prior to presentation of the first toolbox talk and following presentation of the final toolbox talk.

Comments are due by September 20, 2022 and can be submitted here using Docket ID CDC-2022-0086.

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