Date of Award

1-6-2017

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

John Steward

Second Advisor

Stuart Shalat

Abstract

Background

As the number of Hispanic migrants continues to increase in the United States, their representation in high risk jobs such as in the working industry is also on the rise. High rates of injuries and fatalities seem to disproportionately impact this minority group compared to construction workers from other racial groups. Some factors have been particularly involved in this trend without adequate addressed interventions from the U.S. government or construction employers.

Objective

The primary purpose of this study is to conduct a systematic review of research literature with regards to factors leading to occupational injuries and illnesses among Hispanic construction workers in the United States to better catalog the most common factors affecting this minority working population.

Methods

A literature search of the databases Global Health, Medline and PubMed was conducted. The author sought literature describing occupational factors or hazards among Hispanic construction workers in the U.S. Inclusion criteria included free full text and full text articles, studies conducted in the past 20 years, Hispanic or Latino construction workers in the United States as primarily studied population, reported occupational factors, and publications in English and Spanish. Exclusion criteria included articles without a full text, studies conducted more than 20 years ago, studies conducted in countries other than in the U.S., systematic reviews, and letters to the editor. Full texts were then reviewed by the author for applicability to the scope of the study, rejecting articles not meeting the inclusion criteria. Sixteen articles met all the criteria and were therefore included in this review.

Results

The most common reported factors or hazards were observed in seven articles including the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) available for construction workers as well as fear of retaliation when demanding safe conditions. Other factors reported in 5 articles were the employers’ unsafe demands of productivity over safety, followed by no training in safety, and inadequate safety training reported in 4 articles.

Conclusions

Despite efforts by the U.S. government to reduce occupational injuries and fatalities among Hispanic construction workers, this specific minority group seems to experience unique risks while on the job. Results from this systematic review may contribute to the adoption of specific interventions and further research aimed at reducing occupational incidents and targeting regulatory and federal and state agencies, as well as employers, to better understand workplace hazards faced by Hispanic construction workers. The sharing of this information could result in a provision of healthier and safer work environments.

Share

COinS