Completed Research

Hispanic Workers in Construction (Completed – 2004-2009)

Xiuwen (Sue) Dong, MS, DrPH

Ph: 301-578-8500 x8528
[email protected]

Introduction to the Hispanic Series Reports

In recent years, the U.S. workforce is becoming more and more diverse with respect to the continuous entry of new immigrants into this country. The increase of immigrants in the U.S. labor force has been rapid, particularly in construction. In the last decade, the proportion of workers who identified themselves as Hispanic doubled for all industries in the U.S., while it more than tripled for construction. The safety and health of Hispanic workers is a significant challenge to the construction industry.
To shed light on the issues and meet the needs of construction safety and health stakeholders, these Hispanic Series Reports provide updated information on this important area in construction safety and health.

This series includes three separate reports available on the CPWR website: 1) Hispanic Employment in Construction, 2) Health Insurance and Healthcare Utilization among Hispanic Construction Workers, and 3) Fatal and Nonfatal Work-related Injuries among Hispanic Construction Workers. Readers familiar with The Construction Chart Book may regard this series as supplemental reading.

Through this series, it is expected that readers will become knowledgeable of the current status of Hispanic construction workers; pay attention to ethnic disparities in safety and health, health insurance, and healthcare utilization; and make efforts in reducing/eliminating these disparities by improving the safety and health of Hispanic construction workers and the overall construction industry.

Original Project Abstract:

In light of demographic changes in the United States, the construction industry is characterized by a large, young, and quickly growing Hispanic workforce, coupled with a sizable and persistent difference in occupational fatalities between Hispanic and non-Hispanic construction workers. Protecting safety and health of Hispanic workers is a critical challenge facing the construction industry. To address the NIOSH research priorities and examine this important focus area in construction safety and health research, we propose to conduct targeted research on this special at-risk population in our next five-year plan. The specific aims of this project include: 1) examine the safety and health status of Hispanic construction workers; 2) identify disparities in safety and health and utilization of health services among Hispanic construction workers; 3) identify major socioeconomic and work organization factors contributing to the disparities; and 4) develop intervention strategies to reduce/eliminate the disparities and improve safety and health of Hispanic construction workers overall.

Four large national population-based survey databases will be used for the study, including the March Supplement to the Current Population Survey, the National Health Interview Survey, the Medical Expenditure Panel Study, and the Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. The data analyses will be conducted in two parts, one descriptive and one analytic. In the first part, statistics will be calculated to illustrate the extent and nature of the problems and to test the hypotheses. In the second part, we will conduct multivariate analyses to determine how the independent variables interact and contribute to occupational health and utilization of health services among Hispanic construction workers. This study will provide important information on Hispanic safety and health, help people better understand this issue, and promote the development of interventions to improve safety and health for this subpopulation group.