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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Recovery Worker Safety

The United Steelworkers/Tony Mazzocchi Center Sandy Supplement Project 

Applicant Institution: United Steelworkers of America

Following Hurricane Sandy, many immigrant laborers who engaged in clean-up and reconstruction work did not have prior access to health and safety training, and there was a lack of OSHA-approved trainers in the New York area who could conduct health and safety trainings in Spanish. The United Steelworkers Tony Mazzocchi Center partnered with Make the Road New York and the National Day Labor Organizing Network to prepare 40 immigrant worker-trainers who are now qualified to conduct OSHA 10 construction worker courses in Spanish. Since March 2014, this partnership has trained 3,668 Spanish-speaking workers with 57,992 contact hours of OSHA 10 construction training.

This project was funded by NIH National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.


Reducing Occupational Hazards of Sandy Related Work of Immigrant Day Laborers   

Applicant Institution: Queens College, CUNY

Researchers from Queens College partnered with Make the Road New York to deliver a 2-hour Spanish Language hazard awareness training to 442 workers and to provide them with a comprehensive set of personal protective equipment (PPE). They found that this intervention was effective.  Workers used the majority of the PPE at least 60% of the time and reported taking action by talking to their bosses and coworkers about health and safety and refusing dangerous work. The researchers also developed a mobile application to facilitate workplace assessments that allowed individual workers to capture hazards and exposures through an electronic checklist and photo documentation; workers completed 175 assessments.

This project was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The New England Consortium and the Civil Service Employees Association Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program

Applicant Institution: University of Massachusetts Lowell

Natural disasters can create immense pressure on state and local governments to quickly restore the public infrastructure. That pressure often leads public employees to inadvertently circumvent worker safety in order to return conditions to normal as soon as possible. To address these health and safety concerns, the New England Consortium and the Civil Service Employees Union developed and delivered training for mold remediation and for working in confined spaces. The project used a train-the-trainer approach to build capacity and optimize preparedness and coordination.

This project was funded by NIH National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.


Developing an Android Mobile Phone Application to Conduct Onsite Hazard Assessment During Post Disaster Clean-Up and Reconstruction

Applicant Institution: Queens College, CUNY

This research is ongoing. The project will develop a generic software platform that will create and collect data, and provide educational information both during Hurricane Sandy reconstruction and in a broad set of disaster scenarios.

This project was funded by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.


Enhancing Community Disaster Resilience in Immigrant Worker Communities:

Applicant Institution: Queens College, CUNY and United Steelworkers of America

This research is ongoing. The project will promote improved engagement of community-based immigrant worker organizations into larger community disaster preparedness and resilience systems in order to assure that the needs of immigrant workers, their families and communities are recognized and addressed.

This project was funded by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

  • This page last reviewed: March 10, 2016