Latinos and OSHA for Construction
- Written by Super User
It is common knowledge that the majority of work accidents on construction sites are suffered by Latinos. It's also true that the majority of the workers in the industry are Hispanic. The construction industry is dominated by the Latino community which gives it the dynamism and energy it is known for. Our community is young, ambitious and self taught. Many of our workers learned their skills in their home country and are attempting to get licensed and trained here. And yet in spite of this, Latinos in the construction industry are relegated to the work sites and building projects but are less often found in leadership positions or present when opportunities for profit and advancement are discussed.
Those of us who are part of the national movement for greater representation of Latinos at every level of the industry, affiliated with the National Hispanic Construction Association (and their local affiliate, Metro DC Hispanic Contractors Assoc. [MDCHCA] -full disclosure, I am the Managing Director of the local affiliate) are battling with the large builders for greater representation of our community at all levels and at the same time we are diligently working to better train and prepare our laborers, trades persons and professionals for the work place.
With this in mind we are currently presenting our 3rd annual OSHA 30 for construction, training program under the supervision of Jorge Otalora, one of the prime safety officials at Hoar Construction, and his team from the Latino Safety Professionals Association. We have been fortunate to have access to the facilities at the training center of Dynamic Concepts Inc. Corporation owned by a pioneer in the small business movement in DC, Pedro Alfonso. At DCI more than 20 construction workers are receiving instruction in Spanish so they understand the intricacies of safety on the job and understand the concepts and technical language of construction safety.
There are many people to thank here, in particular the Board of Directors of MDCHCA, Jorge and his colleagues and the companies who have sent their employees to participate in this training; Keystone Plus Construction, Winmar Construction, Green Construction, Absolute Builders, Chiaramonte Construction, JCP Construction and others who are supporting their employees capacity building, providing them with time to take the course and investing in the future of their workforce and their companies.
This is the work we do and what makes it so special. These folks are gaining in talent, knowledge and prosperity and looking out for those who come after them. Our congratulations to Carlos Perdomo, Edwin Villegas, Humberto Garces, Tatiana and Bernardo Ahlborn, Frank Chiaramonte and Juan Passos for their dedication to their businesses and their employees.