Latino hurricane workers to get OSHA safety courses
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
The U.S. and Mexican governments are teaming up to educate immigrants about the hazards they face working on the Gulf Coast hurricane recovery effort.
Building on an existing partnership to protect worker rights, the Consulate General of Mexico in Houston and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration will offer hurricane safety courses to Mexican workers within the next three months.
Hurricane-ravaged areas such as New Orleans are rife with safety risks for workers from asbestos to mold, said Joe Reina, a deputy regional administrator with OSHA.
Of the 35,000 workers who are picking up debris and rebuilding New Orleans, about 75 percent are Mexican, estimates Carlos Garcia, who leads the Mexican consulate’s protection department. About 35 percent of those Mexican immigrants relocated from other U.S. cities such as Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami in search of steady work, Garcia said.