CAL/OSHA Reports Results On The Heat Illness Prevention Campaign

Oakland, CA (CompNewsNetwork) - In the summer of 2010, an ambitious heat illness prevention campaign was conducted in California to reduce heat-related fatalities and illness among low-wage, non-English speaking outdoor workers. The campaign strategy involved working at multiple levels to: 1) educate workers, employers and the community as a whole about needed prevention measures both during work and outside of work; 2) develop a ―community norm‖ that views heat illness as a serious issue which requires action in the workplace and community; and, 3) increase the visibility of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) as an agency responsive to workers' needs.
The target audiences for this campaign included Spanish-speaking agricultural workers and their employers, Spanish-speaking construction workers and their employers, and three other immigrant non-English speaking farm worker communities: Hmong-, Punjabi- and Mixteco-speakers.
This campaign was the result of funding provided to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) from the California State Legislature to conduct a targeted public education and outreach effort. To complete this effort DIR hired the Regents of the University of California, through a contract, to assist in the development and implementation of this outreach effort. The project was coordinated by the Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) at UC Berkeley at the direction of the Department of Industrial Relations and DOSH. Collaborators on this project include: Underground Advertising, MOB Media, UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program, and the Western Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at UC Davis.
- Effective messaging was developed and tested with input from representative workers, employers and community organizations.
- There was significant media coverage in the targeted, hottest regions of the state, and the media mix included billboards, large format posters, ads on lunch trucks and vans and radio ads.
Media was developed in five languages:
- Print ads: Spanish, English, Hmong and Punjabi
- Radio ads: Spanish, Hmong and Mixteco
 - A broad outreach component reached 178 community organizations, a large portion of which extended the campaign's efforts by distributing materials and providing trainings in their communities.
 The impact evaluation findings indicate that the heat illness prevention campaign was effective in reaching non-English speaking workers, community organizations and employers. A large majority of workers reported awareness of campaign materials and positive attitudes towards the media messages.

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