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  • Heather Cummings

OSHA Takes Steps to Protect Immigrant Workers

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

In early December the assistant secretary of OSHA, David Michaels, and the secretary of labor, Hilda Solis, met with ambassadors from Central American and the Caribbean, including representatives from Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Panama. The meeting focused on migrant worker safety, and how to best educate these employees about their health and safety rights.

During the meeting all parties expressed concern for migrant workers, and discussed possible partnerships agreements between the Department of Labor and each of the embassies. Michaels urged the ambassadors to help OSHA protect their citizens.

“The most vulnerable workers in the United States are immigrant workers — your workers — who are employed in the most dangerous jobs in this country, particularly construction,” said Michaels. “Sadly, because these workers are not always informed about workplace hazards and their rights to safe and healthful workplaces, they are being injured and killed on the job at significantly higher rates than other workers.”

OSHA’s new Alliance Program, is solely focused on protecting employees and preventing fatalities. The program allows OSHA to partner with unions, consulates, trade or professional organizations, businesses, faith- and community-based organizations, and educational institutions that are committed to employee health and safety. Through the program OSHA has created 11 alliances to promote worker safety and health with consulates in Latin America — 10 with Mexico and one with Guatemala.

Migrant worker safety is a growing issue. Is your company doing its best to protect all its employees? To find out more about OSHA compliance and immigrant worker safety complete the form below and an EES associate will contact you.

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