Safety & Health
Workplace Safety and Health Training
The Brazilian Worker Center has considerable experience delivering occupational safety and health training to workers in a number of industries common among immigrant workers in our community. Under the support of six Susan Harwood Targeted Training and Capacity Building grants since 2011, we have given Portuguese- and Spanish-language Fall Prevention training for Residential Construction for over 2648 workers and employers, with a 60-40% mix of Portuguese and Spanish speaking workers, respectively, and 90% workers and 10% employers & supervisors, in a total of 182 trainings. During 2016-17, we added three new trainings, in Construction Four Hazards (four hours), Nail Salon Safety (two hours), and OSHA Rights and Responsibilities (one hour). In all during 2016-2017, we again trained in both Portuguese and Spanish, for a total of another 1115 workers. In 2018 we are resuming traiings in Fall Prevention for Residential Construction, with a target number of 600. During these years, in addition, we offered six different train-the-trainer courses, that produced 31 newly capable trainers that could take this important safety teaching to the community more widely.
Our history of developing OSHA training materials for Portuguese-speaking workers is even longer. Most of the Portuguese-language instructional materials used in OSHA training nationally, including the 10-hour course, were originally developed by the BWC during 2003-2008 in the NIESH-funded COBWEB (“Collaboration for Better Work Environment for Brazilians in Massachusetts”) project involving us as a partner with the University of Massachusetts Lowell. BWC training personnel also translated and enhanced the first Portuguese-language Fall Protection training PowerPoint presentation during this time, improving it with new visuals to aid low literacy workers. COBWEB trained 324 construction and domestic workers during its years of operation.