The reasons are simple: not only do Hispanics often work in some of the most inherently dangerous industries, but language frequently serves as a barrier to safety awareness.
The Rochester Institute of Technology Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Education Center is taking steps to help remedy the situation by joining the Buffalo Area OSHA Office and the Rochester Primary Care Network to sponsor the Hispanic Health and Safety Fair, which will take place Sunday, June 25, from noon-5 p.m. on the grounds of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company at 123 Upper Falls Boulevard in Rochester.
“Our goal is to educate,” says Kitren VanStrander, director of Outreach Education and Training at RIT. “We’re providing free health and safety awareness to both Hispanic workers and their families.”
The OSHA Education Center is part of the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies in RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology.
The Fair will host more than 50 local health and human service agencies that will provide screenings and health and wellness information. Eight courses will be offered in Spanish.
“Hispanic workers face significant health and safety risks both on and off the job,” says Art Dube, Western New York area director for OSHA. “The fair is a family-friendly event that seeks to equip those workers and their families with important and useful information to help them protect themselves against common health and safety hazards.”
There will be some fun along the way, as well. The Fair will include children’s activities, live entertainment and a Grand Prize drawing of a late model vehicle provided by Henderson Automotive Family, comprised of Webster Chrysler Jeep, Webster Ford and Greece Ridge Lincoln Mercury Nissan.
NOTE: Founded in 1829, RIT is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging technology, fine and applied arts, and education for the deaf. RIT enrolls more than 15,300 full- and part-time students in more than 340 career-oriented and professional undergraduate and graduate programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.
For more than a decade, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. The Princeton Review recognizes RIT as one of America’s “Most Wired Campuses,” and the university is also featured in The Fiske Guide to Colleges and Barron’s Best Buys in Education.